Outlaw’s Den: I only see problems ahead

Tatooine’s Outlaw’s Den is a zone recently revealed that will feature complete FFA PvP. Your only allies are those in your group or guild.  Outlaw’s Den will have the best gathering nodes and treasure chests containing the currency necessary to buy PvP and special cosmetic gear.  There are no objectives to capture or reasons to hold the zone, other than the resources.  It is, at its core, a zone for ganking and that is why I feel this zone will have potential problems.

Nothing stops the biggest guild, or ‘best’ guild, from entering the zone and dominating.  What does it mean to dominate in this zone?  It means control over the resources, galactic market, special Gammorean NPC, and loot he drops/sells.  I believe this zone will result in angst and complaints.

I understand the appeal of a zone like Outlaw’s Den.  A place to PvP, nodes to fight over, and some of the only “FFA” available in themepark MMO’s — it does sound cool on paper.  I doubt whether people are thinking clearly, though.  I would have rather seen the zone be just like it is now, except faction vs. faction. Why pit sides against each other?

Bioware wants to observe how the community uses this zone and feels it will be community building.  I think Outlaw’s Den will be destructive to the community.  If the zone was about working with your whole team against an enemy team, open all the time exactly as designed now, then we would have a reason for people to work together.  Outlaw’s Den is a zone designed to fuel animosity inside your faction and further define the have’s vs. have not’s.

Call me a pessimist, but I know how people behave in MMO’s.  They won’t be going there for the PvP; they’ll be going there for what they can have and keep away from others — they being small introverted groups.  PvP should be the lure, not the vendors.

Ultimately, why care?  I see a good idea being missed by only a few degrees.


  • Well it is actually interesting . while it might not be the thing for everyone, but hardcore “introverted” pvp guild would enjy fighting for domination in this zone.For everyone else there is BGs arent there?

  • I agree with you in there is a big chance of it not working out. But AT LEAST it’s something different!

  • @Howdy: Yeah, it shows they’re trying ideas for PvP. I thought we’d be stuck with only the worthless BG’s. This is a start. I would have liked to see them start on course instead of a few degrees off. We know what happens when you’re only off a few degrees… you end up far from where you thought you were going.

  • @keen we havent heard much about it but Illum is suppose to have world pvp with some kind of territorial control of some sorts.

  • Meaningful PvP? FFA in an unabashed manner? Social darwinism? Free to dominate or upset those dominating? A living aspect of an online world? To call it ludicrous is ludicrous!
    Obviously, a single idea depends highly on implementation. But from your description, is this not the kind of meal many in the genre have been dying to eat?

  • In light of what is currently available or on the horizon…I will take it. How big is the zone?

    I do like the idea and while I would appreciate some nice faction v. faction PvP, there is room for a FFA zone there as well. People wont behave and once has to assume it will be ugly. I would like to see a “flagging” system or criminal system in place. Just something to adjust the baseline thinking of your average player from “OMG I can readily attack him so I must” to “he is just some fella and if I attack him I get flagged (or whatever) but if it is worth it or if he annoys me then so be it.” Obviously, there has to be some sort of death penalty involved that is stiffer than zour average release and run back within 1 minute or the zone will just become a joke.

  • Call me a pessimist, but I know how people behave in MMO’s. They won’t be going there for the PvP; they’ll be going there for what they can have and keep away from others — they being small introverted groups. PvP should be the lure, not the vendors.

    this pretty much, the people who make the games are full of good ideas. the people who play the games will just find away to make it work to there advantage.

    mmorpgs used to be about whats over the next hill, lets go there and check it out. now its about whats over that hill is there anything there for us.

    pvp was about skill vs skill, now its about skill vs skill vs gear. so we go for the fast way to get the gear to pvp. then there is no fun left in pvp.

  • First you say:
    “Nothing stops the biggest guild, or ‘best’ guild, from entering the zone and dominating.”

    Then you say:

    ” If the zone was about working with your whole team against an enemy team, open all the time exactly as designed now, then we would have a reason for people to work together.”

    Which is it then? Do you think people will work together to dominate the zone, or do you think they wont?

    I think of it like this, its 1 zone, big whoop, as long as the vendor doesnt include items that will make its “keepers” overpowered, I don’t see a problem. (not a clue what will be for sale)
    One group will dominate it for a bit, others will band together to overthrow them, etc etc.
    Some people enjoy that playstyle, I don’t. As long as I wont NEED anything from there to enjoy the game, again, no problem.

  • I agree with you Keen, it would have been more interesting/fun as a factional thing, similar to Tarren Mill, Tatooine/Corellia, Nordland/Norsca fights, but with a slight EVE leaning with the resources.

  • FFA PvP, no rules, no objectives. . .well, at least they’re trying something different?

    It’s like the PvP guys they hired haven’t ever PvPed before. These same guys had a good idea and have been going 180deg in the opposite direction ever since. The biggest, most organized PvP guild just got on the free loot train. No effort to equalize, no effort to balance, no effort to care. When it takes more effort to draw the world then it does to come up with the rules to govern and balance it then I get weary. I sincerely hope the guys responsible for PvP aren’t making more then minimum wage.

    Look, just write off SWtOR PvP. No one is criticizing their PvE, it’s going to be great. Just, please, please, please, stop trying to let their PvE talent bleed over to PvP. Take WoW as your base, realize that Bioware/EA is taking the WoW PvE and improving it, polishing it, adding to it to make it better, more engaging. They are, at the same time, taking an inferior PvP system and adding NOTHING to it, changing zero!

    I’m not a casual PvEer, socialite, nor am I a hardcore PvP ganker. . .I’m a full service customer, I require engaging, immersive PvE, while at the same time, enticing, engaging PvP. Bioware is going to deliver half of the product, the other half is a theme park, repetitive, teacup ride that I have zero interest in.

    I feel like I’m going to ‘live’ the PvE and I’m going to ‘ride’ the PvP. Is it really so hard to ask for a game where I “live” both?

  • Yeah, I gotta say I find a total free-for-all mighty intriguing and pretty much the reason why I’m gonna have to play SW:ToR. This is PvP being taken seriously like no other AAA game.

    I’m really excited about ToR after reading this and am sad to discover you were a closet carebear Keen 😉

  • Aye, the danger of ending on a server with one of the “no life” “professional” guilds and then having them camp that place 24/7, not even because they are better, but because they have numbers, is real.

    I’m sure Bioware will observe what happens and eventually add similar rewards in other places, if that’s not already done. I never heard that that place would be the only way to get PvP gear.

    Another thing too… that place will give a huge advantage to stealth classes…

    “I think Outlaw’s Den will be destructive to the community.”
    Agreed, too. When you just see how “butthurt” some people are about simple duels… it’s a dangerous feature.

  • While I would prefer a faction vs faction thing in Outlaw’s Den – they already have the zone for grand warfare between the factions with tons of NPC and walker units; Ilum.(where im pretty sure I read there also is rare crafting materials) This is an experiment so we will just see how it works out.

  • This “social experiment” will fail like every other social experiment. Just be thankful that it doesn’t cost you any real money. It will give Bioware some stats to read over in an effort to have faction balance. In the end it will prove that people are jerks, when rules and boundaries are not in place. Like I don’t know that already!!!!

    The Empire will have a higher percentage of players on every server. I truly doubt dark side players will mix very well with Jedi scum and vice versa. If they do allow some in a group, they will be used to point where they are no longer useful. They will then be booted from the group and killed just for laughs. This will cause people not to group in the future with the opposing faction.

    The classes that prove to be the most powerful / useful will be the only ones allowed in groups. Why would I as a leader want a weaker class in my group when I can have a strong one. If your not part of ” the click ” your just gonna be a kill on some leader board.

    To control an area with a pug will be more work then fun. Pugs will always fall apart because good leaders will hard to find and so will good communication.
    Players will be booted from groups for stupid reasons and then killed just for laughs.

    As a result, large guilds will rule the locations that have the most benefit. Guilds will also make agreements with like minded guilds to roam these areas without fear of being attacked. Thus allowing a few guilds to run the entire area. The more they run wild, the more other players will just stay away. It’ll just be a ganking area. In the end it will be an area where nobody plays because there will be nobody left to gank.

  • I think the most interesting thing will be whether Bioware is able to listen to player feedback and tweak the area as necessary if some of the above fears become founded. My fear is simply that it will “work” as intended on one server, and then whichever developer gave birth to this idea will try to use that to “prove” to all the other servers that it could work if we all just would mimic that one shining light.
    Personally I’m not very worried about it at all…mainly because I’m just going to enjoy the ride that this game is while leveling, and then hope that as a bonus it has staying power after cap.

  • Well at least with all the talk of this game being incredibly “safe” at least there’s some risk and experimentation going on here. I hope Bioware get more than just stats though: they will need to have GMs watching over that zone “as it happens” to see how it feels.

  • @Intruder: not GMs. GMs aren’t qualified to evaluate gameplay. They need developers to watch that zone.

  • Won’t be touching SWTOR with a 20 foot pole, but personally I like the way they’ve set it up. Why shouldn’t the biggest/best PvP guild dominate a FFA PvP area? As for the FFA in a game obviously designed from a faction vs. faction standpoint, I’ll admit it seems a bit odd (empire vs. empire, rebel vs. rebel), but I like the fact that they’re thinking outside the box a little. It kind of opens you up to the idea of a non black and white world where people really are ruled by resources.

  • “Why shouldn’t the biggest/best PvP guild dominate a FFA PvP area?”
    Because the members of other guilds pay the same monthly fee…

  • @Bartillo: Because I am 700 miles away from my computer celebrating Thanksgiving in California with my family. Bad timing. I’ll stream the heck out of launch.

  • “Why shouldn’t the biggest/best PvP guild dominate a FFA PvP area?”

    I think that this is a question of theory vs. reality. In theory the most organized and/or largest guilds should dominate as that is the reward for their efforts; in reality it will kill the game play experience for many more players, and a game that is not fun for the majority of players will lose membership.

    I’ll always come back to the AoC example, that is on my server in the end-game lands there were about 2 major ganking guilds that ruthlessly roamed the board steamrolling everyone else trying to quest and additionally camped the the rez sites effectively locking down the endgame content. In theory the ganking guilds should be rewarded as they made the effort to organize and be present round the clock and other players should have risen to the challenge and organized themselves into guilded and non-guilded (PUG’s) counter-raiding groups, but this didn’t happen. In reality the game experience sucked for everyone other than the ganking guilds, and I have to imagine (given that I quit over the general situation) that it ended up sucking for them as well in the long run when subs dropped and all they had left was to Barrens chat to each other at unproductive rez points.

    I think there are always creative solutions to problematic situations if the underlying problems can be identified. Perhaps aiding in PUG raiding group formation via a reward-based queued system to join raiding groups of pre-set size limits (at their discretion) to venture forth would be helpful?

    I think it is more important to do the right thing from a utilitarian POV (in general and to keep the sub numbers maximized) rather than adopt a Darwinian elitist position that will harm the game as a whole (I’ll restrain myself from expounding upon a rl analogy to laissez faire corporate America based governmental policies and our current financial woes in the US).

    Perhaps this isn’t as great a potential problem as it was in AoC given that it is only one zone as opposed to the sole area of endgame content, nonetheless that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t endeavor to make it as enjoyable fpr as many people as possible. Given human nature, especially in the context of internet anonymity pack mentality, we can see where this is going to lead; proactive guided community nurturing is better than damage control F2P adoption after many players leave in frustration.

  • I am at least glad they are putting in some type of open-world PVP zone, I wasn’t really expecting one to be in the game at all.

  • Large, organized guilds SHOULD win, they’ll always win, no matter how you design your PvP, hardcore and organized will figure out how to beat casual PUGs. . .but don’t setup the perfect, no rules, FFA zone that caters to the that dominant style of gameplay. There won’t be any room for small group PvP or solo PvP. And these big guilds will only hit these zones if that’s where the rewards are. If you see them dominating Ilum and tell ’em they should be in this Outlaw zone like it was designed, well, I told you so. These large guilds is game evolution, it’s the best way to get the most stuff, so don’t worry about the health of this method until you design a game that makes them ‘not the best choice’. Instead try and design a PvP system that promotes more then 1 style.

  • Its just one zone! And I am sure PvP rewards are the same no matter how you get your PvP thrills. Also Tattoine seems like the appropriate setting for this. I applaud EA for adding some balls to what is otherwise a stale sounding PvE retread MMO.

  • @iLkRehp You are right, they should win but that is what screws up PvP in the long run. I have played on both sides of the spectrum and neither extreme is fun.

    Large guilds who rule over an area or server end up not having anyone to fight. People will just stop playing because getting beat day in and day out is not fun.

    I played on a server where we were out numbered 10-1 or maybe even more. Our guild
    would log in, group up, take a keep or two and then just log off. It was impossible to defend anything because of the extreme imbalance. Eventually the ruling guild had nobody to fight because the server had zero activity from the other faction.

    That is why people have turned to instanced PvP zones that limit the numbers on each side. And then it still gets screwed up because guilds will always have superior communication.

    I have already seen players logging off or leaving the PvP instance when they see they are up against a guild in SWTOR. I was the only one remaining against a beta guild and I just waited on the platform until the fight ended. I bet they had loads of fun telling each other how bad ass they were.

  • What you are describing is nothing more than poor game design. We know that large, organized, hardcore, guilds will beat smaller, unorganized PUGs. Knowing that, you should design your PvP system to accomodatemultiple plaaystyles so you don’t pit these 2 against each other. DAoC, once again, had a solution. The game system gave out better rewards to smaller 8s in that running 8 was a much more efficient way to get RPs. It split up players into 8s AND continued to provided mechanisms for the larger raid guilds. Devs gave up trying.

  • @iLKRehp: That’s essentially what this whole statement of mine is about. Outlaw’s Den is poorly designed to be anything but a zone controlled by elite zergs.

  • And stealth classes, Keen. They will be out there to farm the rare/unique resources. Since death has no negative repercussions and you don’t lose what you already farmed, even if they are caught by “the zerg”, they will just come back.

  • I think I disagree with you a lot Keen, but I think you are pretty spot on here. When I saw this my first thought was of Shrines of Bori in AoC — a set of open world pvp focused zones with special resource nodes that would allow you to progress more quickly in pvp rank etc.

    The PvP community in that game almost universally panned Shrines for precisely the reasons you are predicting, and many have argued that Bori ruined pvp in that game.

  • Ilum is a faction pvp zone, kind of like wintersgrasp from what I understand, but no timers on battles, points can be exchanged at any time. From what I can tell Outlaw’s den is just a zone with no points to control. Think of it like the wild west, it’s one zone. And as a previous commenter said as long as they don’t put something on the vendor or make the only valuable nodes only available in zone then no problem.

    I like the idea of it being a high yield resource zone. You can go into mine, but there’s a risk.

    I think it will be fun, and something that other mmo’s havn’t had, and as far as faction vs faction being what this zone is missing. That’s what Ilum is for. Same type of zone but one is FFA and one is factioned.