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‘PvP Games’ are making PvE Worse

Does it have PvP?  That seems the be the question asked about every game these days.  Even the games that are truly meant to be PvE have tried accommodating PvP in some way.  The cost is becoming quite evident.  PvP is making PvE worse.  We’ve seen game after game release and whether or not they’re designed for PvP or PvE, it’s clear that the PvE is the weakest part of the entire game.

AoC, WAR, Darkfall, Aion, and Allods to name just a few have all released as PvP-centric games.  To dive a little deeper into two of the examples:

Warhammer Online: PvE lacked all depth.  It was a simple quest hub grind of the most straight forward variety.   There were few dungeons and the ones that existed before level 40 were, for the first year at least, worthless in both terms of loot and experience.  The game was always about getting to the PvP side of things.  Every effort made in the game was direction straight towards improving the PvP.

Darkfall: This sandbox was entirely about PvP.  The PvE, where it existed beyond the starting towns, involved boxing in mobs who run like chickens with their heads cut off.  The PvE content was not rewarding unless you found something to exploit.  The idea of being a sandbox was suppressed almost entirely in favor of maintaining this “we’re the PvP game for the hardcore masses” mentality.

The problem stems directly form how PvE is being designed and then presented as something in the way.  Usually the PvE in these games becomes something that must be overcome and done before getting to the PvP.  It becomes more about putting in your time than it is about playing the game because the PvE is designed poorly or presented as such.  Sometimes we’ll see a game where the PvE doesn’t get in the way, but it is added simply as filler.  PvE just fills in the holes like putty and it is neither fulfilling or meaningful to the game.  Thinking that all people want is their PvP is a sure-fire way to have horrible PvE and ultimately a horrible game.

Leaving out the PvE in these games means that PvP would have to stand on its own.  Why is that a problem?  If PvP had to stand on its own then people would quickly realize that the game has lost all of its meaningful investment and become more arcade-like since people often associate going through something, especially something they dislike, as having increased the value of what they earned.  This is what happened to World of Warcraft in my opinion when they instituted Battlegrounds and Arenas where players could avoid the PvE side of the game altogether.  Although WoW’s PvP does quite well for itself, can anyone honestly say that WoW would be a true mmorpg if it were simply a Battlegrounds and Arena game?  Without PvE, suddenly the flaws in the PvP are apparent where they were once overlooked by something that was much worse.

I don’t believe the solution is to remove PvP or to make games entirely about PvP.  The greatest “PvP games” that people can recall are ones where PvP was surprisingly equal or of lesser importance in the grand scheme of said game’s design.  Ultima Online was a game about far more than PvP yet people associate it with the PvP.  Dark Age of Camelot, the game that truly invented the faction based PvP system, was very much a PvE game as well.

People think they want a ‘PvP game’ but they really want a game where the PvP is meaningful, rewarding, and a fleshed out experience within a great whole.  That isn’t accomplished by turning a blind eye to everything but PvP thinking that as long as you have this amazing PvP or special mechanic that all will either be overlooked or forgivable.   Regardless of how important PvP is to a game, it never stands alone in a MMORPG.  Developing a strong PvE core is probably the most important part of creating a successful ‘PvP game’ and until we start seeing the emphasis placed back on a balanced experience… well, we’re going to see more AoC, WAR, Darkfall, Aion, etc.

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Comments

  1. Office Jerk says:

    I think you hit the nail right on the head with this one. so many mmos add PvP to “attract the pvp crowd”. Often the PvP is a parallel game or a sideshow, in which case it makes it harder for the PvE players to find groups, or have the all-too -familiar “omg AV popped, cu guyze later”. The other case, where PvP is baked in tightly with PvE, you usually choose 1 of 2: Ganker, or PvEr. There is no real middle ground. Being a ganker you have fun ganking. you do not have fun pveing. choosing the pve path, you have fun pveing, and you get ganked by gankers.

    I’d love to see a game that could mesh both things into one seamlessly or naturally. but i haven’t yet.

  2. Morimiko says:

    You really ought to check out Aika. It is a very well balanced pvp game with a fully fleshed pve game. I have not had this much fun in an mmo since Everquest.
    Its in CB2 ending tomorrow. The game has seperate channels for pve/pvp and just click a button to teleport over to same spot on map in open pvp.
    Full guild vs 4 other guilds castle sieges to rule the nation. (taxes, defense, police) 24/7 relic wars for nation bonuses. Altar battle international 1/day, loot the enemy nation of 1/10th it earnings. Dont defend? debuff where all pve mobs do 50% more damage. Good crafting system. best gear is crafted. It just has alot of the elements all working together very well.
    Gpatato game but: 1) GMs are in game alot, answer questions, 2)Survey for CS prices and what you would spend etc. All while in CB. 3)CS items are balanced so far.
    Game has limited visual customization but alot of gear customization. Reason it is set up for literially 1000 vs 1000 pvp. With little to no lag. Not a brag but reality.
    PVE is well done, dungeons have normal, hard and hell levels. They start at level 10. Group skills are required.
    Great game.

  3. I agree with most of this blog but the part about DarkFall is innacurate (or at least now is).

    The mob AI has been greatly improved, the reward made PvE worth it too. Monsters don’t run as much anymore.

    And one of the first comment new players will say about the game is how fun it was to kill their first goblin, or how they got killed by their first goblin.

    I don’t know when you played but the current state of the PvE in DarkFall is far superior to what it was in the past.

  4. I created a character in the Aika beta, did a quest to kill five boars, and then logged off in disgust. Everything I’ve ever said about Allods being too derivative goes for Aika tenfold. Maybe the endgame is exciting 1000 vs 1000 PvP, but I’d never survive the boredom of yet another class/level/questgrinder to get there.

  5. I wouldn’t lay all the blame on PvP. Most games are just iterations of a set of features from earlier games with a little extra, but recently nobody has added much to those features. Odd combinations and a feature here and there have come out, but the only game I’ve played in recent memory that had more than one new feature was Tabula Rasa. Control points and static/radio/multi-ending missions added some unpredictability and spice to PvE. The “smart” FPS thing had been done before it was new to MMO’s. It was just visual, but mobs spawning from drop-ships instead of appearing out of thin air made the world feel a bit more real too. The game was flawed, and some/most of those flaws probably came from biting off more than they could chew, but at least they tried some new things. Control points were the best PvE fun I’d had since exploring Wailing Caverns in WoW.

  6. I have never found a game that has PvP I enjoy doing. I might play battlegrounds on occasion in WoW to get one of my alts a nice new item, but it is rarely “fun” for more than about an hour every month or so. After that point, I either stop doing it or see it as a chore that I’m just slogging through for the gear reward.

    Sometimes I don’t even stick around that long, as I checked out the PvP in STO this weekend and swore never to return, as it generally involved my little ship being blasted to pieces in a matter of seconds by Klingon ships that I often couldn’t see at all, and would disappear the instant I might have had an even chance against them. After half the match, I just wanted to cower somewhere safe.

    I would love to see a game that doesn’t have any PvP at all, and focuses entirely on the PvE aspect of the game.

  7. I think the idea of games with either 1) No PvP or 2) No PvE don’t work right in the MMO genre. You need a nice mix and for both to a meaningful and fun experience. Unfortunately, the formula seems to come out pretty tainted lately o.O

    For example… in LOTRO I had tons of fun, but inevitably quit because of poor PvP support. PvP is what I turn to when the PvE gets tiring. I actually liked the fact that Warhammer enabled you to level up without PvEing much at all, but in the end I did this a lot simply because the PvE content got boring fairly fast. The option being there though was wonderful.

    I certainly miss the old pvp rank and skill system from daoc, as it made the pvp feel more meaningful for sure.

  8. Annoys me. If you want PvP go play Counterstrike or one of its ilk! Why waste your time levelling a character doing PvE quests, killing NPCs for gear when you can dive right into headshots and humping in a level-less game? (Non-levellular… Sans-level… there must be a word for that.)

    As an oceanic player, most MMO servers are quite literally on the other side of the world from me. While I adore playing against the living, I rock an 800 ping on a VERY good day, so MMORPGs are (for me at least) strictly PvE.

    You can whine ‘L2P nubbins!’ at me all day, but when I’m 2 seconds behind you, I’ll only hear it after I’m dead. Fun times! Long, odd, story short – any games that make me PvP to play simply succeed in me going to play something else.

  9. DAoC?? Hello!?

  10. Curious George says:

    “PvP is meaningful, rewarding, and a fleshed out experience within a great whole”

    That is exactly what I want coupled with a PvE that has the same characteristics.

  11. @Epiny

    Totally agree and was going to bring up DAOC. I’m still in shock that nobody has used what worked well in DAOC in a modern game today. Persistent battlegrounds were such a blast and really helped fuel realm pride.

    Maybe we’ll get DAOC2 one day.

  12. As much as i may dislike Allods instances (so far) I have to say that the game balances it well, at least at the moment. Its a must to group up and do as many quests as you can in the holy lands, an to do so you often need a pretty decent sized group. You often run into other decent sized groups while you are out questing, which forces you to switch focus and start doing a little PVP in between the quests, which is also good because, if you do it enough, you are rewarded. I think it’s a well balanced game in terms of PVP and PVE (so far from level 1-26)

  13. Uh … EVE Online? Whether you’re mining, crafting, manipulating the markets, leading a corp or participating in battles, you’re doing it against other people. EVERYTHING is driven by and involving PvP, no matter if you fight to make a profit or for system ownership. And that’s the way I like it, that’s how I’d like my future games to be. I couldn’t care less if other MMOs are PvE-only or involve a mix of different game styles; I don’t play them. Hell, I play L2 for PvP only (which means I have a rather low-level char at just 78 after some five years of playing), and that’s an old-style Korean grinder. :)

  14. Vanilla WoW, PvP server has some of my greatest memories of how good PvP & PvE can be.

  15. Proximo says:

    Even though I don’t even play AoC (or any MMO atm actually) I need to say I don’t agree with you on adding this game to this list.
    For starters PvE storyline is very present and important in the game, especially in the first part where every quest has voiceover dialogues that lets you experience a story like you’d normally find in older games like Monkey Island.
    Second I’d say that dungeonwise AoC is one of the better games on the market now. The endgame raids are as demanding or even more so than WoWs (so I’ve heard from people who quit WoW raiding for AoC raiding cos it was becoming to easy at least).
    And even in the lowbie dungeons you’ll find both storyline and awesome encounters. I particularly remember Black Castle (lvl 30ish i think) after it was revamped, the dungeon had traps of the type you’ll find in Indiana Jones movies and it made the dungeon extremely fun imo.
    All this in a MMO which is VERY PvP centric, or well that was how it was portrayed before and at launch, with the upcoming expansion “Rise of the Godslayer” it seems PvE is a very key component, they have even said that the PvP bits of the expansion will be added in patches after release since they require more testing.

    Ahh well, I might have missed your point, but incase I didn’t I really feel that AoC doesn’t belong in that list.

  16. Proximo says:

    Ohh and the “new” zone called Ymir’s Pass (it’s been out for months, but was not in while Keen was playing) is a very storydriven zone where you through questing will get answers to some weird events that occasionally happens in the zone.

  17. I agree with you, especially the sentiments expressed in your last paragraph. People do want PVP to be more meaningful which is something I discussed a few days ago in a similar article on my blog:

    http://www.wolfsheadonline.com/?p=3936#9acd7

  18. silvertemplar says:

    Yea, it’s interesting to note and compare the patchnotes [and what is highlighted] in a “real” PvE MMO with one that has PvP.

    You can spot it easily:

    It will be all about the class changes [nerfs and buffs], the rest is fluff

    vs.

    Volume 3 Book 1 : Oath of the Rangers! (and how the story continues)

    (you get a cookie for figuring out the “real” PvE MMO in question.

    It’s also amusing to note how LITTLE “real” PvE are there these days , and by “real” i mean MMOs that have a very strong and in depth PvE aspect .

    How many released since WoW? Anyone?

  19. Longasc says:

    Yup. Could not agree more.

    PvP was always successful when it was part of the world. It could never stand on its own or replace missing content.

    It was and will never be the dominating or only part of a MMO. A MMO is much more than that.

    Also think of Guild Wars and EVE. Supposed to be PvP games. They are not. 90% are carebears. Yep. Even in EVE. There was once a questionaire back in 2007 that came to the funny result that 50% of the players did not ever leave the secure empire space, not even once. And even today the bulk of players is playing in empire space.

    Guild Wars had to separate PvE and PvP balance – both parts of the game were totally separated, but shared the same skillset, which caused a lot of forum wars between PvE interested players and PvP balance interests. And while there were dedicated pvp players, the majority of the population was not playing PvP as the intended endgame, but PvE. Which was probably a revelation to the GW team, they probably did not expect that.

    I have played the Klingon side in STO and monster play in LOTRO, and arenas or only pvp can only entertain you for a certain period of time. Even if you are or claim to be the hardcore pvp roxxor.

    This is why I like Aion’s take on the matter: PvP is connected with the world. This just makes the huge number of carebears cry in pain. Yes, it will never be fair if higher level guys gank you or groups of 4-5 kill you while you are plucking flowers. But I still prefer it to the restricted pvp tacked onto the game in the form of mostly uninspired small scale arenas. Well, Battlegrounds are at least a bit better… but not much.

    Unfortunately I see a tendency to make every world a safe Trammel for players. And as long as PvP becomes more and more a sport totally disconnected from the world, the PvE world will lack the certain thrill of danger that world pvp creates as well.

  20. I really don’t play PvE in WAR, yet I don’t feel that the “game has lost all of its meaningful investment.” I’ve played my share of PvE games and found nothing meaningful about them. It’s a matter of personal preference.

    There is no reason that PvE and PvP can’t live together either. Eve and Darkfall seem to be good example of it clearly working. I wish WAR had devoted more effort to PvP rather than PvE though.

  21. howclever says:

    PvP content is cheaper to make than PvE. Maybe its harder to tune but most games don’t seem to care about that (lol @ WoW).

    So everyone includes PvP grind because it costs less to make than real PvE content. The funny thing is that PvE content means “a series of groups of mobs that stand around waiting for you to pull them 1 by 1″… if you think about more interesting PvE content then the PvP silliness becomes even cheaper. (Think about what Age of Conan originally promised, a player built city that you would have to defend from PvE attacks… that sounds awesome but the AI isn’t something that is already laying around in a 5 year old library/toolset)

  22. JeremyT says:

    While I agree with your observation of the problem, I disagree with your conclusion:

    Regardless of how important PvP is to a game, it never stands alone in a MMORPG. Developing a strong PvE core is probably the most important part of creating a successful ‘PvP game’ and until we start seeing the emphasis placed back on a balanced experience… well, we’re going to see more AoC, WAR, Darkfall, Aion, etc.

    I think, in most cases, trying to balance the two components leaves a game weaker for it. Many players are interested exclusively in either PvP or PvE, and by implementing both you greatly increase your scope with a payoff for only a fraction of your players. Does it really make sense for a small studio to essentially create two games rather than narrowing its scope and enhancing only one?

    It’s interesting to me that you use WAR as an example here, because I believe it’s a poster child for how attempting to balance the two elements can lead to a wholly unsatisfying experience. Looking beyond the marketing hype (war is everywhere!), WAR placed roughly equal emphasis on both PvP and PvE, and neither component was compelling enough to carry the game.

    If Mythic hadn’t spent so much time on PvE, could they have made a better PvP experience? Could they have fleshed out the scenarios and developed a more satisfying keep combat system? I believe there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with WAR’s PvE or its PvP, it’s just that neither side was fully realized. That’s especially frustrating for a PvP focused player who bought into WAR’s PvP hype and ended up slogging through the half-baked PvE system instead. Busy work, indeed.

    It’s easy to observe that there are few pure PvP MMORPGs out there, and it’s easy to imagine that it’s just impossible to do such a thing properly. When I see that void, though, I think it’s a niche just waiting to be filled, and I really hope that somebody steps up to fill it.

  23. One issue with PvP is that it isn’t “always available to all play styles.” In the case of War you simply can’t always find a war. Things varied widely depending on the time of day.

    PvE on the other hand can always be available because you don’t have to rely on other players. The truth is that PvE can stand alone and PvP generally can’t. You’re always dependant on that other person or persons.

    Personally I’m tired of the attitude that “you have to have PvP” in every MMO. If the market was as big as people suggest you’d have greater subscription totals on the games based around it. I don’t see War breaking any records. Darkfall intended to be a niche title and is. Aion was going to be “the next big thing” and instead it is just another average product.

    At this point I am much more inclined to play a game that is one or the other. I like Global Agenda because it is PvP focused, doesn’t pretend to be otherwise, and has just enough PvE to do if you’re not in the mood to fight other players. It does a great job of being a shooter with MMO elements. That works for me.

    At the same time, I love/loved EQ2 because until recently they didn’t care about PvP. Somewhere along the lines though the decision to add BGs was made and it has been a nightmare. The implementation has been very disruptive to the PvE experience.

    PvP is making the PvE worse, that is for sure. I’m just hoping this trend of “being everything to everyone” ends soon. How is it more viable to have two watered down features instead of one awesome one?

  24. PVE currently is really 2 things first is questing/leveling and second is endgame lootwhoring. First one people expect to be a completely solo experience while the second is practically incompatible with any sort of decent pvp.

    As broken record as it is but group based leveling (hard fights hard reward) system like in DAOC taken even further. groups of mobs killed together giving bonuses to the group is the key for building community and fun. Healing mobs, nuking mobs, aoe mezzing mobs.. make it actually semi challenging while leveling and pve would be fun.

    At this time the endgame lootwhoring is covered by WoW and any game trying to compete there is dead on release. That market is full, nobody can compete with Blizzard there. Aion had quite a few “raids” actually some were not half bad for WoW 3 years ago maybe..

  25. AnkleBiter says:

    @ Longsac, re: EVE

    Sure, a large % of those “carebears” may never leave high-security space (and even there, they aren’t immune), but they are still ALL competing with/against eachother. As Akjosch mentions in his/her post; players compete for resources (asteroid belts, complexes, real-estate…), they compete on the markets (buying, selling, manufacturing…). PVP in EVE isn’t just about the “pew-pew”, it’s pretty hard to find anything in EVE that isn’t PVP.

  26. Krosuss says:

    PvE requires a lot of development time to create new, innovative, interesting, and challenging content for players to run through. Even with Blizzard’s bankroll how often are they releasing new content? Not nearly as fast to keep up with the demands of players. PvP only needs a setting/environment and players. The players themselves add the variety and challenge.

    The problem with PvE is once you learn how to beat it … you’ve beaten it. The fight may be hard but you’ve figured out the patterns the boss attacks with and then it’s just a matter of coordinating your party to beat it. Is it really fun to run the same dungeon over and over and over and over again? No. Once you get all your loot do you really yearn to go back and do it again? No. (Caveat … I’m sure there are some who do enjoy this … I don’t, it’s boring.)

    I like a mix of PvP and PvE to keep things different. But in the end once you’ve attained the loot you want there really is limited reasons for running a PvE instance again unless you are helping friends.

    WoW excels because their product is mature and they do a very nice job of creating their PvE content, testing it, etc. Their formula works. Others seek to copy it but usually due to haste to market they lack the needed polish to make their PvE stand out. And sadly, any new MMO that launches is held to the WoW-standard even though it’s been out for years and had its warts when it launched. People forget those things. But in this post-WoW world will PvE ever be what it was in the old days?

    I’ve been reading you for a few years now, Keen, and I recall an article where you longed for the days of open worlds, limited guidance, and exploration. I’m afraid the days of those MMOs is over. It’s all about icons over quest-givers, and red circles where you are to go to complete the quest, and other stuff like that.

    The majority of players like easy, quick progression so their short attention spans can be satiated till the next new thing comes along. And companies want to cater to as many different players as possible.

    For good PvE I stick to RPGs … sure you do them alone but they are deeper, more immersive, and in many cases better produced than any MMO. But … very few allow you to play with friends, and that’s the fun part of MMOs.

  27. I realize this might make me sound crazy, but I still think WoW hit the mark closest when it came to PvE/PvP integration. They missed just nearly imho…

    I use the past tense here because I haven’t played in years.

    WoW had some of the deepest and richest PvE out there. The kill ten rat quest grinds got monotonous, but beyond that they had a huge variety in terms of zone layout, dungeons, mobs, AI behaviours, etc. Few can dispute that.

    The contested zones on the PvP servers could have been amazing, but they weren’t incentivized at all. Killing/ganking people only served to be a nuisance instead of a rewarded activity. I’ll admit, incentivizing too much would be disastrous, but I think they could have struck a nice balance with a little effort.

    I wanted some form of XP (to help you level), honour (to give you a PvP rank – titles, ladder, vanity, etc.), and tokens (to buy gear) from contested area open world player kills, but never got them. Too bad, really.

    WoW could have been exactly what you are talking about Keen (on the PvP servers anyway): A game hugely focused on PvE with tightly integrated PvP.

  28. wolfiebr says:

    I was one that played Daoc in both the normal servers and in the cooperative (gaheris) server, because its PvE content was at competitive to comperable games at the time.

    WAR is a major fail in PvE.

    Problem is several PvP-focused players should be playing RTS, specially those that see PvE as nothing more than a boring, needed step to get to the “real game”, pvping. MMORPGs are about both in my opinion (which is why I dont usually dig PvE-only games too).

  29. Ganking is not PvP, it’s bullying. If you want to make a solid game with good PvP, you can’t have a wide power band. That, by nature, removes most “real” MMOs from being a good place for PvP.

    Of course, if we expand the definition of “real” in this case, you could easily have a persistent world with a very narrow power band with decent PvP, but you’d have it from day one, and a five year veteran could be killed easily by a noob. It would be based on player skill, not time sunk and avatar attributes/gear/class/whatever. (Which, as far as I’m concerned, is the backbone of *player* vs. *player* play; it’s not *avatar* vs. *avatar* play.)

    Sunny is absolutely correct to recommend Counterstrike or Team Fortress 2 or the like. Those are solid PvP games, balanced specifically for players to use their own skills at the game. When “real” MMOs are about advancing your avatar more than anything else, they will naturally run contrary to good PvP design. If you can get over the mental hurdle of insisting that a “real” MMO has to have avatar progression across a wide power band that makes ganking inevitable, you can start to design a good PvP MMO.

    It will be a smaller niche product, to be sure, but it can work. Darkfall is perhaps the closest thing currently out there, but it still has vestiges of avatar advancement that affect the PvP.

  30. Don’t normally do this but my post was to long to leave. :)

    [...]Let’s be honest, MMOs just suck lately. Wait let me rephrase that. We have had over 100 MMOs released in the last 10 years.[...]Of those 100+ MMOs we have less than 8 considered successful and less than 5 that were ground breaking[...]

  31. Of course, if we expand the definition of “real” in this case, you could easily have a persistent world with a very narrow power band with decent PvP, but you’d have it from day one, and a five year veteran could be killed easily by a noob.

    Of course there are games like this: WWII online and Planetside come to mind. Maybe DUST 514 as well (we’ll see).

    What makes for a “real” MMO? The MMOFPS sub-genre has gotten some traction with pure PvP games, but that’s as far as the trend has gotten. There’s no real equivalent that uses that swords-and-sorcery, real time, click-a-skill combat system that so many “real” MMOs copy and paste between each other. As Keen’s article makes clear, many people think that such a combat system is by necessity married to a game that has PvE.

    I wonder why that is?

  32. Lastcall says:

    I disagree. I don’t think a strong core PvE experience affects PvP in any way and I don’t see how you make that case in your post. PvP can be immersive and meaningful without quests or dungeon encounters. It just needs to revolve around territory control instead of battleground win %.

    The reason to play a PvP focused MMO instead of an FPS is the persistence of the world more than character progression which is main drive in PvE focused MMO’s. You may enjoy both and it may sell more boxes to try and satisfy both desires, but I don’t believe the two improve one another in any significant way and often work against one another. I think that choosing to focus primarily on one or the other will lead to higher quality games.

  33. “90% are carebears. Yep. Even in EVE. There was once a questionaire back in 2007 that came to the funny result that 50% of the players did not ever leave the secure empire space, not even once.”

    Well I think people who are core PvE players don’t mind PvP so much, as long as it occurs sporadically. For example, if I’m in EVE and I’m a carebear, I wouldn’t really care that much if once a day I got ganked. However, if I’m getting ganked every 15 minutes that’s a completely different story.

    Even more so, designing games with these high security zones adds to the challenge and enjoyment of the game. I mean if I’m a carebear and I die in my home city with tons of guards around me, the first thing I don’t say is “WTF? This is bullshit!” instead it’s “Holy crap! That’s amazing that a guy made it in here, past all of the security!”. In effect, I’m almost want to congratulate the guy for pulling off a major achievement!

  34. Bhagpuss says:

    PvP is cheap content, that’s why game companies keep throwing it at us.

    It’s a lot cheaper and easier to let players entertain themselves by fighting each other than it is to write content for them. Same reason Reality T.V. has pushed expensive drama off broadcast television.

  35. I think the developers can’t read on the sidelines. When an MMOer says that he wants a great PvP MMO he usually wants an MMO with great PvE content on par with decent PvE MMOs PLUS a decent PvP system.

  36. JeremyT says:

    PvP is cheap content, that’s why game companies keep throwing it at us.

    It’s a lot cheaper and easier to let players entertain themselves by fighting each other than it is to write content for them. Same reason Reality T.V. has pushed expensive drama off broadcast television.

    It’s easy enough to tack bad PvP onto a predominately PvE game, which is what a majority of “PvP MMORPGs” seem to do. Hey, instant grind! That’ll buy some more sub time!

    WoW’s PvP (at least for as long as I played) clearly fell into this camp.

    Doing it right? I’m pretty sure that’s not quite so easy.

  37. I’v stayed out of PvP in most MMos I played that don’t require it (DaOC, Warhammer). When I want to play some PvP game I go to team fortress or CoD.

    One thing I think makes PvP bad, is equip that makes you alot stronger then other people without negative effects. In CoD a new player can go head to head to someone who played for 1000 hours, while that player have different guns, it don’t make them invincable.

    Any PvP content needs to be skill driven, not equip driven, or it will fail.

  38. I’d almost wager the best PvP game out there is still waiting to come out.

    WAR and WoW had a chance at it with contested zones and uncontrolled areas, but failed to take hold of them.

    Design a game where WAR type faction against faction played more of a part of the game. It opens areas up for a set time, it grants you access to the resources there, gives you elite guards that roam around for those gank groups.

    Penalize gank groups all together by implementing a level against level restriction so if you attack someone too low level, you become a lame duck and they can kill you and reap the rewards.

    There are soo many ways to make the current system of PvP better and more about your side rather than your character, but nobody is taking advantage of them.

  39. You really need to update your info about Darkfall. The pve has changed drastically since you played.

  40. Broseph Stalin says:

    Not to sound like a fabled darkfall fanboy who pops up whenever the game is criticized but pve in darkfall certainly has more depth and is more enjoyable now than when you about a year ago. Through AI improvements, drop improvements, and better spawn/spawn groupings pve has become for me personally an enjoyable part of my game time.

  41. theres nothing wrong with AoC, WAR, Darkfall, Aion, etc.

    the problem is that many of those people who play those games(most being hype players)are so conditioned from world of fucking warcraft that they no longer have an open mind set to anything different. Id say most of the population of subscribers of the a fore mentioned games either never played WoW or played it for less then 1 year.

    if u cant chat, link, trade, pvp, pve(xp) like warcraft then its the developers fault they’re not blizzard and their game isn’t the 2nd coming. Im not knocking WoW, dare i offend any fan boys, i played the game since launch and am currently “unemployed” from the game but the sad truth is many future MMOs will fail to prosper the way that game has because it exists.

    the most frustrating mindset of all is “dont have 10+ million subs? then the game is dead” way of thinking. When all MMOs pre-WoW had less then 300k subs and that was the norm/acceptable for a massively playing game. Im sure there was 1 or 2 that went 500k-1m but even then no one changed the mind set to “1mil or bust”. AoC, WAR, Darkfall, Aion, etc. all have healthy subs and are stable even after “rough”(“if its not like WoW at launch its fail” mindset) launches.

    I’m currently sub’d to WAR and having an absolute blast, I played at release and recently resubbed and very glad I did.

    Once players grow out of the WoW phase MMOs will kick back up again.

  42. To the Darkfall fans commenting, my information is definitely old. However, it’s relevant for the game’s launch and if we keep all things relative we can compare all of them at launch.

    Regardless, that’s the extent of my first hand info. If I go by what others say, I have several friends who recently retried Darkfall and all of them have come to the same conclusion that PvE, while perhaps better than it was it’s still lacking in a big way.

  43. @JT

    A few major MMOs do have 200-300k subs, which is the normal. Pretend WoW doesn’t exist and every MMO is doing fine. WoW isn’t preventing MMOs from kicking back in, alot of MMOs are doing better than DAoC, EQ, and UO did.

    Everyone needs to stop using WoW as a scape goat. It has brought more awareness to this gaming genre than any other game.

  44. Fresnel says:

    I think a game I would want to play would be developed like this.
    Step 1: Design classes for a fun balenced PvP.
    Step 2: Design an exciting and compelling PvE game based off the classes.

    To be honest I feel that PvPers will find excuses to fight. In vanilla wow there was no reason to fight in Hillsbrad or STV but they did anyway. I think a lot of PvE games start with classes designed for PvE, then when they try to add PvP as an after thought things are horribly imbalanced and there are classes that aren’t fun to play etc. So they try to fix this and they break there strong point in their game, PvE. PvP can exist in a void, PvE need a world. Then once the game is established is when you start adding PvP elements. Look at what your player base is doing on their own and give them reasons to do it. Add world objectives avoid battle grounds. Also reward PvP from the beginning let people level up through fighting.

  45. Good points,

    I really miss the Relic Raiding in Dark Age of Camelot.

    Those days are so far gone now, I really do not understand why the gaming companies bugger this stuff up. Maybe that’s why people anxiously bought WAR, and others bought Vanguard. So hopeful Dark Age of Camelot would relive its glory days, or Vanguard would be reincarnation of EverQuest.

    Realm Pride and Patriotism were everything back in the old days of Dark Age of Camelot. I remember Friday nights Caswallon the famed PvP hero of our realm (Gawainne Alb) would meet infront of Castle Sauvage, putting together the realm raid easily exceeding 50+ people. The armies of Albion, Hibernia, and Midgard proudly gathering Friday night, and waging wars over keep takes until Sunday morning.

    Even when our relics were threatened the whole realm would show up. We’d have level 20′s standing on our ramparts alongside 50′s, it really was something.

    Relics (footballs) I think are a vital part of capturing Realm Pride. The fact that they are tangible objects held as trophies insults other realms while boasting your pride. WAR really screwed up keep taking, what was the point to capturing a keep if it could be retaken right away. Even taking Keeps up to Castles only led to a PvE capital city event?

    If Mythic honestly apologized and started a DAoC2, I’d drop out of school and become a zealous follower again. No game has ever captured the spirit of RvR (team PvP) and the scare of finishing a battle versus Hibs only to see the armies of Midgard coming over the ridge, were rewarding and invigorating to get back out there and fight some more.

    That is something else to consider, Realm Rankings = Realm Points spent like talent points in WoW. Purchasing PvP utility skills.

  46. I have never thought of it like this honestly, and it is quite amazing, I have to agree that I think you hit the nail right on the head with this one.

    Relic raiding was amazing in DAoC, right up until ToA, and hibs able to take relic keeps in about 2 minutes, “RELIC KEEP IS UNDER ATTACK!” run there full speed, they already have our relic and are gone, it was ridiculous. But yeah, the patriotism and realm pride in DAoC is something I have never seen in another game, sorry Warcraft, people jokingly say “FOR THE HORDE” but they never mean it, they are just as likely to call people on their own side retards and quit the game constantly, in almost every fight. In DAoC you would get ARMIES acting cohesively for DAYS straight pushing and taking keeps nonstop. We invented names for people we hated, we could RECOGNIZE our opponents.

    I thought War would be like DAoC2, and I was heavily dissapointed when it wasn’t. DAoC had an AMAZING amount of PvE content, huge continents, huge camps of mobs, quest lines, group areas, dungeons, it’s actually quite amazing when I think about it. Even the hilariousness of the DF raiding, where you’d actually have groups of 30-60+ people all charging around killing raid mobs and bosses for experience.

    I also think and smile to myself at the days of 40man raiding in WoW, where people used to bitch it took HOURS, then I think back to DAoC where I used to organize raids of 100-200 people to do things like dragon or ToA ML levels, where youd send groups of people to complete multiple objectives at once, scouting, holding down locations… it now seems to make more sense that I see WoW bosses as almost hilariously simple, except for the most complex of fights.

  47. @Tesh: “[a PvP game]would be based on player skill, not time sunk and avatar attributes/gear/class/whatever.”

    @Peachx: “Any PvP content needs to be skill driven, not equip driven, or it will fail.”

    Say PvP is the main focus of game X and it (PvP) is entirely skill-driven then why do you want a persistent world, or more precisely, what would it be used for? Why do you need an “mmo” for that?

    @JeremyT: “There’s no real equivalent that uses that swords-and-sorcery, real time, click-a-skill combat system that so many “real” MMOs copy and paste between each other.”

    You can play any RTS and it’s click-and-fire. You can play it in multiplayer. Would it be enough if yuo were to control only one unit that has “skills” but otherwise leave the game unchanged?

  48. Kenny, that’s my underlying point. What we see as necessary to an MMO, namely, level and gear progression, runs contrary to good PvP design. That said, “MMO” doesn’t just mean level and gear progression. A persistent world where territory changes hands, the economy is player-driven, but *combat* is rooted in fair PvP could qualify for the MMO moniker. Persistence and progress need not be rooted only in levels and gear.

  49. JeremyT says:

    @Kenny: “You can play any RTS and it’s click-and-fire. You can play it in multiplayer. Would it be enough if yuo were to control only one unit that has “skills” but otherwise leave the game unchanged?”

    Clearly, no, that’s not enough. Implementation of the systems required to make a compelling game is left as an exercise to the reader.

    Hint: a game can have an environment with elements that contextualize player versus player interactions, without actually requiring that players fight against the elements in said environment.

  50. Yeah the problem with relying on PvP is that most of the “PvP” games have outright horrible gameplay, awful design and technical issues on top of it (most recent example being Darkfall)

    Of course the PvP in those games cant stand on its own – for a simple reason that it blows monkey balls!

    There is only one “pvp” game on the market which does not completely suck. Its eve online. And its doing allright. I personally never liked the basic gameplay element (space combat in eve , to mildly put it , is uninspiring ) and found their leveling system horrible (it is basically game built in macroing system. rewarding for paying but not playing and new players have no chance in hell to catch up by design)

    I mean I want meaningful PvP, which is NOT grind ,NOT time sinks , I want persistence, which is the only thing I miss from FPS. So far every “pvp mmo” thinks that they should avoid being fun in order not to be confused with fps, and so far they are successful. – I keep playing FPS!


  51. Say PvP is the main focus of game X and it (PvP) is entirely skill-driven then why do you want a persistent world, or more precisely, what would it be used for? Why do you need an “mmo” for that?

    I personally thinks there should still be “RPG” element. just in order of 85% is skill (which includes the character build btw) and 15% are your gear etc

    Now why persistence? – for meaningful conflict. To control territory , resources. to have scale. All fps have no strategic elements – they only have basic tactics and are very small scale. But heck if there was good massive scale FPS (there is currently none, I heard MAG is decent but its console only and looks like slightly souped up BF2) I would probably play that and forget about MMOs altogether

  52. Strangely enough, I wouldn’t have called AoC a PvP centric game, at least not at launch… the PvP mechanics were very lacking to say the least!

  53. The problem is AAA companies that realize that PVE is important will follow the same paths as their successors without taking risks like emphasis on PVP. EVERY AAA mmo will do this because it has been PROVEN that it works if done correctly. The ONLY companies that will take risks are indie developers, but the downfall is usually everything besides their cool new innovative idea. Meaning we’ll get a game with a cool mechanic or idea, with lackluster engine/gameplay/PVE to back that said idea or mechanic.

    This cycle has and will keep happening until a AAA company takes a risk, period. Until that happens we will continue to get the same games regurgitated at us.

    It’s really even worse today than it was 10 years ago in my humble opinion, because of the flux of “instancing” and “cloning of zones”. Both of these really take away the feeling that “Hey, I’m in this huge connected world” feeling, we call immersion. One of the main factors that I feel are needed in a mmo to be successful. When you begin to micro manage what was birthed as a huge, ever changing, living entity, that is the world of said mmo you are playing, the player begins to feel disconnected to the world itself. THIS DIRECTLY AFFECTS PVP, and in PVP I really mean WORLD PVP. When you begin to instance and micro manage PVP you have already fallen victim to the cookie cutter model. Not only have you killed said PVP in your game but if you don’t have PVE to support it, it will not succeed. Time and time again this has been happening. As stated earlier, now that the mass development of AAA companies has adopted instancing, the chances of a GREAT mmo anytime soon has pretty much vanished from sight.

  54. Dispair says:

    Gotta reply cba to read comments.

    Ok – I think you are completely wrong, PvP and PvE can and should exist in a mutually beneficial relationship, but it requires that the developers understand how the two sides of the game can benefit each other, and it requires them to commit to both sides of the game or one side will tank and perhaps drag the other down with it.

    The PvP and the PvE in any game should mirror each other as much as possible, so that PvP is basicly PvE with “perfect” AI (human intelligence that is) and a fair playing field, and PvE is basicly PvP, but with story and new stuff to do. That way PvE becomes the place to test out new game mechanics and PvP becomes the place to perfect/balance them.

    In MMORPGs as we know them today there are a number of hurdles preventing PvE and PvP from really benefiting from each other:

    1. Accessibility.
    In MMORPGs meaningful PvP (as in something that actually reflects the PvE game) is only available after a significant time investment, so as you mentioned in PvP-centric games PvE becomes about bypassing PvE, which is bad. So assuming we don’t want to separate the two, the PvE game have to stop revolving around getting infinitely more powerful, and creating max power (level , gear, etc) characters have to be easy (unlock feature or just available at start).

    2. The gameplay gab.
    The PvP and PvE gameplay are currently very different in most MMORPGs and therefore the mechanics that are important in PvP are not in PvE, which leads to impossible balance issues and a mutually destructive relationship between the two. The PvE game mechanics needs to take its cue from the PvP game, implement player strategy into the AI, and the traditional class roles have to adapt with it. The threat mechanics of the tank have to go for something more realistic.

    Long story short I think it is very possible and beneficial for the genre to both have PvE and PvP in the same game. The genre just have a long way to go yet, and we as gamers just have to continually pick the games that push it in the right direction and then be patient.

  55. @Tesh: “A persistent world where territory changes hands, the economy is player-driven, but *combat* is rooted in fair PvP could qualify for the MMO moniker.”

    ‘Mkay, said world is persistent and combat is entirely player-skill driven. What do you have economy for? What do you have land for? You’re right in saying to have any of these you have to have persostence but with that comes a whole different bottle of genies you might not wish to unleash.

    @Max: “I personally thinks there should still be “RPG” element. just in order of 85% is skill (which includes the character build btw) and 15% are your gear etc”

    If it’s entirely player skill driven how do you manage character builds? I mean _what_ do you build if it’s not character but player skill that makes a difference? Do you have builds in CS? And if you have that 15% equipment that makes a difference, than that 15% becomes 100% at that same moment, as it will make or break your play – grind it or lose it.

    “Now why persistence? – for meaningful conflict. To control territory , resources. to have scale.”

    Again, what does territory control and resources mean? They give you an advantage? Then it’s not entirely player skill driven, it’s a grind for the most/best rewards. It comes with metagaming. It comes with the possibility of “winning” the game (heck, this is a shadow looming even over EVE!) by making it impossible to others to play for goals.

    @Jeremy: Elaborate on that last part please. :]

  56. So in other words, PvP only means something if you suffer through a level grind, and PvE only means something if you can get ganked by some bored cap-level player.

    I don’t see that working.


  57. So in other words, PvP only means something if you suffer through a level grind, and PvE only means something if you can get ganked by some bored cap-level player.

    I don’t see that working.

    Yep this is exactly how it set up now .pvp only available after long mean pointless grind , filled with timesinks and boredom (darkfall). And that is exactly big part of the problem

    It means something but there is no actual pvp by then, its 99% of time in grind (for resources, skills/stats,travel time). Designers have to realize (even though players cant formulate it themselves) that meaningfull =/= risking hundreds of hours spent in timesinks in a level based pvp.

    Meaningfull = fighting for objective relying on your own skills and your group coordination and organzation. this is what is fun in pvp, not the grind

    People pvpd plenty in vanilla WoW before BGs hit- in southshore ,booty bay, raided iron forge, just for the thrill of it . Thats how much potential pvp has- people do it for FUN. No one would grind mobs for fun unless you have a carrot in front of them in terms of gear/ levels. PvP is inhrently superior in that aspect.

    What was needed is encourage more world pvp with small rewards, what Blizzard did instead is killed it by shifting all pvp rewards to instances (Bgs and arena) . All rewards in wow are around gear, and pvp shouldtn revolve around that.

    How cool would it be if you could become a landlord by holding control of the farm /mine and get some reward for it in terms of resources. Reward the fighting – not grinding ! You could even become king if you hold enough territories. Of course the other players would not let you hold the control easily!

  58. I would like to add to this fine by Max who I agree 99% with in this instance, that when I am talking about meaningful pvp (although I have no idea who Ddblade was actually replying to), I am talking about a contest between players that are representative of the actual game mechanics. Not the introduction of some artifial risk/reward system besides ladder ranking.

    Example: level 20 arena is not meaningful pvp I would argue as it is not representative of the actual game as each class have an incomplete toolset. Doesnt mean it cant be fun, but its not representative, likely not balanced, and therefore not meaningful.

    Timesinks, gear grinds and such are one of the core problems in MMORPGs as they take the player away from what he should be doing namely practising his pvp skills or practising on an encounter, and constant gear rewards upsets balance, trivilizes pve and pvp encounters, and creates the lazy addict player type.

    As a former raid leader and arena team leader I will testify that it is not only pvp that hurts from the gear incentive, and its not only pvp that people will play just for fun.

    When did we stop playing for fun anyway, and start having this strange need to get rewarded to actually play a game.

    PS.
    Grats to the north american rls team of EG for winning the IEM world championsship, the european rmp team of Dignitas for the 2nd place, and the amazing korean rmp team of Button Bashers on the 3rd place.

    PPS.
    Whoever said that pvp cant stand alone in a game must be on crack. If Blizzard released arena as a stand-alone title I would buy it immediatly.

  59. First I d like to mention that human language is awfully imprecise and the definitions are vague. So for example “skill driven” for one does not mean same as it means for another. Some people say that learning skills and abilities in WoW is not skill as it doesn’t require lightning fast reaction and precision aiming (btw it actually does require fairly quick reaction at high end arena –because you have to make a best choice in a timeframe of gcd taking into account multiple factors ,including avatar positioning, both team cooldowns , etc etc)
    Depending on game genre it could mean different thing. Twitch is not the only “skill” element. Now when I skill dependent that means that outcome of encounter depends more on the player than on investment of time in various treadmill like timesinks (levels, gear etc).
    This element exists everywhere- in fact in quake , UT it’s the buffs and weapons you pick up (one can acquire them in very short time but nevertheless newly spawned toon is at disadvantage vs one which just picked up a slew of powerful boosters, hence hign end FPS gameplay in Quake/Ut consists of tactics and strategy revolving around power ups). In Tf2/BF2/CoD4 you can unlock different weapons which distinguish you from newly created char. In CS money in rounds allow you buy better weapons, Kevlar, grenades etc.
    Now the thing is one can jump in TF2 with fresh account and dominate, It is a game almost entirely 100% skill based –your starting loadout is complete and good, new unlocks are mostly gimmicks or things which provide different options (not more powerful ones)
    Compare that to any mmo –newly created toons are useless no matter how good you know game mechanics . What I like in mmo is an element of template design – templates are another metagame, which I find fun and it’s the part missing in fps.

    If it’s entirely player skill driven how do you manage character builds? I mean _what_ do you build if it’s not character but player skill that makes a difference? Do you have builds in CS? And if you have that 15% equipment that makes a difference, than that 15% becomes 100% at that same moment, as it will make or break your play – grind it or lose it.

    Building and using (who knows maybe you just blindly copied fotm and do not even realize how its works) efficient character is a skill. Its something which distinguishes one having no clue about game mechanics from the one who does. What I mean by skill playing more of a role is that for example in CS I can kill fully loaded out player with just my starting pistol. It also doesn’t take much to acquire competitive gear. In MMO I generally think there is some time necessary for char development, but for entirely different purpose than present mmo have. Only reason I would put a requirement in time to get to competitive level is to provide accountability ,and I think that period should be a month of casual play (with some check built in that you couldn’t speed it up by playing 24×7) – put some pve /exploration content into this time frame to keep new player interested .
    As it stands now the constant level/gear treadmill progression is only thing which current MMO have. You become more powerful personally , just for the sake of it , which is made obsolete by next patch when you begin same thing again. Arena in wow is just another form of meaningless instanced combat with wow gameplay mechanics, grinding towards better pvp gear, being obsolete next season


    “Now why persistence? – for meaningful conflict. To control territory , resources. to have scale.”
    Again, what does territory control and resources mean? They give you an advantage? Then it’s not entirely player skill driven,

    It skill driven, just its different level of skill -skill in strategy ,politics and guild control, which allows you to take and hold territories. How much advantage that territory control gives you is a very crucial and fine point of game mechanics. It should be incentive enough to worth fighting for, but not the snowball advantage type , when winning sides gets more and more advantage , making it impossible to fight back. Relics on DaoC are example of decent goals ( not without flaws). Realm points there are example of bad advantage
    I mean if you design such that one resources provides your crafters with abilities to build 5% better weapons it would be worth fighting for, if you also make it so it would become progressively harder to hold all valuable resources you would provide incentive for losing side to get some resources back ( by spreading opponent thin , since he has to defend more resources )

    it’s a grind for the most/best rewards. It comes with metagaming. It comes with the possibility of “winning” the game (heck, this is a shadow looming even over EVE!) by making it impossible to others to play for goals.

    Hence why I think it’s necessary to design a game “worth fighting a war in but impossible to crush”. Provide a fallback mechanism for losing side to recover and spring back up. Make the victory meaningful but do not penalize the loser into quitting (example of driving out losing side are games like Shadowbane and Darkfall). For example if I made pvp mmo I would reserve a few core territories for each side which could not be completely conquered and be sufficient for staging a fight back , one could dominate other side by controlling contested resources and maybe even raiding core territories (achieving some flashy rare title, maybe a statue or such – but nothing giving the advantage to already winning side). I would also make it 3 sided at least, so 3d side could balance the losing side.

    Current MMOS do not have pvp which is about pvp and warfare. Its about some faceless honor /arena points or some such which is just another way to run same progression treadmill as pvers get.

  60. My thoughts on this:

    WAR was a terrible waste of a great RPG world in my opinion. I *love* the gritty WFRP setting, but the PVE content in the game was such an afterthought for the most part and only really channeled you towards the PVP. WAR could have been the game to get me, at least casually, into PVP but by the time I trialled it most PVP was mindless zerging with you being one-shotted by overgeared twinked characters…

    Allods again could have dragged me into a PVP game, but the mismanagement of the cash shop, the brutal transparency of the pay-to-play elements and the rumours of the next patch are not encouraging.

    One important factor behind WoWs storming success has been it’s mission to cater for all types of players well. I can’t comment on the PVP in WoW, but at least it has it in spades. I find it strange that the makers of Allods and War though a purely PVE experience was not worth including – do they want to throw away subscriber? After all give PVErs a non-forced PVE server and we’ll happily grind away the levels and raid, and at the same time give the company money that can go towards making all sorts of content!

  61. Philinor says:

    I hear you on the pvp thing. Try googleing “Fury Online”. It was published some four years ago or so and was advertised purely as a PvP MMO. It had no PvE content. I remember quite well how they advertised the game with promises of something like a million dollar worth of prices to the best pvp players (pc’s, mousepads, screens etc). Well I didn’t like it so I stopped playing after beta and later found out that I wasn’t the only one stopping.

  62. [i]“This element exists everywhere- in fact in quake , UT it’s the buffs and weapons you pick up (one can acquire them in very short time but nevertheless newly spawned toon is at disadvantage vs one which just picked up a slew of powerful boosters, hence hign end FPS gameplay in Quake/Ut consists of tactics and strategy revolving around power ups).”[/i]

    Sure it does but would you happy with a persistent solution? Like in every round the player who picked up the powerup has it for the entire length of the round? Or it doesn’t respawn until he gets killed? Because having bonuses granted for, say, land control would just be this lopsided.

    [i]“Building and using efficient character is a skill. Its something which distinguishes one having no clue about game mechanics from the one who does. What I mean by skill playing more of a role is that for example in CS I can kill fully loaded out player with just my starting pistol.”[/i]

    I sense a contradiction here as PvP people mostly complain they have to do stuff before they can be effective at PvP. Given two players with equal skill that 15% gear you proposed is going to make the winner and the loser. I think that a long time player has the advantage of familiarity and such with the game is enough of an advantage. However I completely agree about the current trend in MMOs (WoW especially because of it’s exposure).

    [i]“How much advantage that territory control gives you is a very crucial and fine point of game mechanics. It should be incentive enough to worth fighting for, but not the snowball advantage type , when winning sides gets more and more advantage, making it impossible to fight back.”[/i]

    Would you fight for a 5% powerup in UT? I think that there is a fundamental difference between the Quake-ish Shotgun-Rocket-Zapgun-Whatever distribution than what you proably have in mind. Problem is, see, the terms of “character”, “xp”, “loot”, “grind”, etc are so deeply rooted in our brains regarding MMOs that it’s almost impossible to think without these about the subject. Would I fight for a 5% powerup in a persistent FPS world? LOL no, it would make kicking the opponent’s ass that much sweeter – but then again this would leave me with no advantage regarding the persistent world so I might just go back and suck at Quake/UT/whatnot.

    [i]“How much advantage that territory control gives you is a very crucial and fine point of game mechanics. It should be incentive enough to worth fighting for, but not the snowball advantage type , when winning sides gets more and more advantage , making it impossible to fight back.”[/i]

    If you provide safe heavens than it looses all meaning for the players. It’s equivalent of saying, your health cannot be reduced below 5% in UT, otherwise you might lose and ragequit. Fallback is provided with respawning advantages and weapons in FPSs but nothing more. Even if a persistent world would make sense for a purely skill-driven PvP game (let’s just call it FPS) this would definitely decorate it with rainbows and pink ponies. IF you are thinking about it why not go the extra mile and say that it’s perfectly possible to win or lose the game? Yes, it sucks to lose, better luck after the server reset.

  63. ffs that italic shit


  64. I sense a contradiction here as PvP people mostly complain they have to do stuff before they can be effective at PvP. Given two players with equal skill that 15% gear you proposed is going to make the winner and the loser.

    Look no one minds the little pve side. Most pvpers want to have something on a side -be it crafting ,pve ,exploration. What we dont want is ENDLESS treadmill grind. IT NEVER ENDS.

    And you keep talking extremes -its either endless grind ,either instarespawn with all gear. there is middle ground there.

    When I talk 15% not being completely skill based I meant there should be other metagame in there- template, gear selection ,etc. Stuff which I like but is missing in FPS.

    RPG stuff is good as long as its within limits. and 15% is not a lot. look in skill based games if I am good and your are not 15% not going to save you .

    Complain mostly comes from the fact that to be competitve in PvP you have to grind even HARDER than average pve scrub. Because of min maxing and gear optimization . No one likes it but everyone has to do it.


    If you provide safe heavens than it looses all meaning for the players. It’s equivalent of saying, your health cannot be reduced below 5% in UT, otherwise you might lose and ragequit. Fallback is provided with respawning advantages and weapons in FPSs but nothing more. Even if a persistent world would make sense for a purely skill-driven PvP game (let’s just call it FPS) this would definitely decorate it with rainbows and pink ponies.

    No it does not . DAOC is an example of game with “safe havens” . yet people still fought each other. Ironically vanilla wow was pretty hardcore in some sense – you could raid enemy capitals! something daoc didnt allow!


    IF you are thinking about it why not go the extra mile and say that it’s perfectly possible to win or lose the game? Yes, it sucks to lose, better luck after the server reset.

    because losing side quits when they have no hope fighting back .There are NO servers reset in MMO. you cant have a mechanics which gives more and more advantages to veterans and winning side. – you will alienate any new players and have the losing side quit. Its perfect recipe for killing the game ,yet every single pvp mmo followed this recipe! (from daoc to darkfall)

    If you want FPS equivalent it would be as after each death your health goes down 25% , permanently till,say the minimum 1%. And to make comparison complete you would also have to grind ai bots on “tutorial map” for 2 hours before you are even allowed to join live game .Who would play those FPS? NO ONE! – yet people are surprised servers were deserted en mass in SB and Darkfall after first cities were lost.

    RR points inflation also was a big factor in why even Daoc was bad. No new players wanted to be sheeps for rr10 vets. no new players – game slowly dies


    Would you fight for a 5% powerup in UT? I think that there is a fundamental difference between the Quake-ish Shotgun-Rocket-Zapgun-Whatever distribution than what you proably have in mind

    you fight for different things in MMO. You fight for your guild , for fame. Do you think guilds wouldnt fight for getting their name listed as ruling faction , with officers being “lords” and guild leader King? -with perks like sitting in throne room and have rent income in terms of resources? With ability to have influence over game world?

    Hell yes they would. People fought in SB just for their city to pop on the map (and they had to grind for gold that city day and night -not a fun activity at all)

  65. “RPG stuff is good as long as its within limits. and 15% is not a lot. look in skill based games if I am good and your are not 15% not going to save you .”

    Exactly my thoughts. So, if I suck compared to you it won’t matter, I suck with or without the 15%. Now, if we are equal skill level then the one who did the grind will have a seizable advantage over the other. Will it make all the difference? Hell yeah.If there is any vertical progression then PvPers bound to try to stay on top of that – even you say the same thing later.

    “because losing side quits when they have no hope fighting back .There are NO servers reset in MMO.”

    So “pride” only goes as far until you win. When you start losing you don’t care at all about all those glorious things you mentioned later? Anyway a losing side can be incentivized to stay in the game even if they are losing. And why don’t we have MMOs with server resets? Why-o-why? (hint hint: because the insane timesinks that your hypothetical game has nothing of?). It’s like saying there are no server resets in MMOs because… Well, because there are none.

    “you fight for different things in MMO.”

    Oh, then if you have other incentives then why do you want “better gear”? Still haven’t told me what concrete advantage you envisioned as “resources”, “income”, “influence”, etc.

    The problem remains the same: if you have rewards that give +% efficiency in killing the other side then it is something to grind for. If you have items that are better or worse then it will be viewed as “mandatory”. And finally, but most importantly, if you have a persistent world that you cannot change in a “meaningful way” (eg WIN) then you would just turn off most competitive players as for them the persistent world is just one more facet of the game but if it’s not winnable then what’s the point? It ceases to be a competition from that very moment onwards.

  66. I think we’ll see that change with SWTOR. I think that game will fix this problem and will be able to match WoW one on one at Launch.

  67. johnjohn says:

    You realize this goes both ways right?

    Pve games are making pvp games WORST. AKA carebear WoW, LOTRO, etc.

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