WAR inoculates against negative PvP experience

  • Post author:
  • Post category:MMORPG

Part 3 of that Josh Drescher interview I linked to yesterday has been released. I again find myself in the unique position of finally enjoying an interview! Yesterday I mentioned how phenomenal the questions were in this interview. The questions weren’t the typical run of the mill easy to evade questions that most interviewers ask game developers. These questions allowed Josh to really come out and give us his opinion and some great information. I liked how the interview pit WAR against the industry because those questions are tough to answer – those are the questions that bring answers worth talking about! The mmo enthusiast in me thrives on this stuff.

Here’s the best part of Part 3:

E: Is RvR such a dramatic change that people will pick up on it and identify it?

JD: If it’s not then we’ve wasted our last ten years as a studio. It really is our pedigree, and we committed ourselves to it as a developer ten years go. We looked at the direction fantasy gaming was going and the way that people were handling the idea of the Player versus Player experience – it was uniformly unsatisfactory, and to our surprise it’s remained that way, except in the games that we’ve built. People seem to treat it either as something brutal and horrific and terrible for anyone except for crazy power-gamers, or something that is such an afterthought that it feels like a completely separate part of the game. We’ve always looked as it as a nuanced and a significant part of how people interact. PvP is a defining element of all games, even in the real world with board games. I can invent a version of Scrabble that you play against yourself, but it’s ten times less interesting than playing with someone else. So ten years ago we decided that this was our creed. With WAR we’ve found a way to integrate PvP which inoculates people against the negative experiences they’ve had in the past.

I think this is a situation where a lot of people can relate. PvP has been mostly unsatisfactory for a very long time. It’s been an afterthought in EQ2, LotRO, Vanguard, and dare I say it was for a very very long time an afterthought in World of Warcraft (If you didn’t play WoW for the first year and a half, at least, then you really don’t know how much of an afterthought it truly was.) It’s Mythic’s plan to bring back the PvP from DAOC. To bring back the strength of RvR that they have dedicated themselves to for the past 10 years.

I’m extremely eager to see how WAR inoculates against negative experiences in PvP. RvR wasn’t perfect back in the day but it was close. Stealth classes, class imbalance, and flawed game mechanics like mez were horrible – all of which Mythic has claimed are fixed.

  • Well from what i’ve seen from interviews, previews and other factoids, they’ve got their game heading in the right direction.

    Now just for the execution…

  • What will be incredibly interesting is how they get people excited about RvR at all. DAoC was fairly popular as a PvE game with occasional RvR battles to look forward to (and of course, the omnipresent stealther in the bushes thing they had going), but as the focus shifted ever more to RvR, they lost more and more people. Until you were left with a fanatically dedicated RvR base, but a land mostly barren outside the battlegrounds.

    If they come out with a strong PvE experience in which you can totally ignore PvP and RvR unless you decide you would like to participate, then that may work. And there are signs they may be headed that way. But instead of a world torn by war, it will be a world torn by killing ten rats, plus there’s war if you really feel you must go.

  • As long as they don’t require PvE to be competitive in RvR (see ToA), they can come up with all the raiding in the world.

  • “..but it’s ten times less interesting than playing with someone else”

    Yeah, I can think of nothing more ‘interesting’ than playing outnumbered 5 on 1 or against someone with twice the tiles I have.

    After 10 years of MMOing I still don’t see how PvP will be anything more than a diversion that is geared to the elite.

    While imbalance in attacker vs defender team sizes can be overcome in a controlled space, the disparity in gear handicaps the casual and rewards the hard-core player far to much.

    Now if they would implement a system where once you log into a battleground you selected your for a set list that everyone has access to that would allow the contest to be won by skill and tactics. Of course the self-same elites would not like that very much

  • >> Now if they would implement a system where once you log into a battleground you selected your for a set list that everyone has access to that would allow the contest to be won by skill and tactics. Of course the self-same elites would not like that very much

    That’s called a FPS, imo. The trick to MMOs is giving people enough rewards for their time invested without crippling people who don’t invest time.

    This coming from someone who doesn’t have the time to invest..

  • Not to hijack this this WAR discussion, but Age of Conan is in the same boat. They are trying to find a way to balance the PvE and PvP aspects of the game.

    Interestingly, you mention gear being a big decider in most PvP outcomes. AoC is attempting to reduce the problem of gear handicaps by placing much less importance on gear. In fact, from what I hear, most gear in AoC will give little to no bonuses.

    Instead of finding armor that gives +8 to something like stamina, you might find a piece that gives +0.5% chance of reducing lightning damage. These minor (very minor) buffs are meant to discourage gear hording and mindless raiding, and place more emphasis on character building and overall player skill. Not to mention making the crafters in the game needed even more.

    Anyway, as far as my opinion on WAR goes, I hope it turns out well. I’m a fan of the Warhammer universe, although I don’t consider myself to be a die-hard fan in the least. Nevertheless, the videos I’ve seen of PvP have left me… unimpressed thus far.

    It seems that they aren’t really changing how you fight, just the reasons why. From arena style to region vs. region. In the end, what’s the difference? MMOs’ combat systems need tweaked. Developers need to address the basics of combat instead.

  • I’m watching AoC closely. Even though I’m a diehard Mythic/DAOC fan I really want AoC to do well. I would really like to see two strong games in 2008.