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Reader Comments (20)

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 8:34AM (Unverified) said

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I think the thrill in PvP does not come from the risk of loosing gear/items but from the fact that your opponent is not computer but human controlled so fights tend to be more dynamic and that's the thrill.

But I don't really qualify to talk about PvP in MMOs as it is not appealing to me the slightest. My PvP experience solely comes from first person shooters :P

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 8:36AM SgtBaker said

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...or you know, you could play EVE ;-) Modern MMO with "meaningful" PvP (with reasonably high stakes)

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 8:40AM (Unverified) said

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But here's a question from a veteran of the oldschool: with stakes this low, does PvP really matter?

No, which is why the divide between the PvPrs and PvErs is getting as large as the seperation between rich/poor in the US. It's time that PvP had hard risks asscoiated w/ them, so that players had to truely consider if the path was worth it, rather then for ego stroking and griefing.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 8:43AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, 'mordern' (I'd prefer contemporary - modern implies that 'older' systems are inferior) PvP feels a lot like a deathmatch game than a persistent world. You die, you res, you die again, ad nauseum. You grind those points one way or another and you eventually get there.

I think the biggest difference is almost a by-product of this: the effect it has on everything else. Sure if someone killed you in UO they could take all your lootz, but if anything else killed you, they could as well. This is where more of the 'grief' play came.

But yeah, dying with no real consequence doesn't appeal to me. DAoC missed the mark with res-sickness, WoW copped out by making it a money sink.

(not to be too much of a fan boy, but UO wins here).

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 8:49AM Rollins said

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If the MMO industry wants to go further mainstream, death penalties will have to remain light.

Someone needs to come out with one that has the old-school/hardcore feel though, if only for the same reason that games like Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) and most of the Devil May Cry series have lots of fans. Those games provide an old-school challenge that you don't see in most of today's games.

That's why I think that if Darkfall makes good on a decent number of its promises, it'll be quite successful. Not WoW-successful or even EQ2-successful, but it also (presumably) didn't have as much money put into it as either of those titles. Maybe Shadowbane-at-its-peak successful. ;)

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 8:53AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, Darkfall doesn't need, or I believe expect, the same success as WoW. It got a small team working on it, and intends to capitilise on a niche, left unsatisfied by the MMOs being released by everyone else. The people Darkfall's marketed have no other options, so if it does make good on its promises will have nowhere else to turn.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 10:07AM (Unverified) said

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Asheron's Call still has my favorite PVP for 3 reasons, how you lost items, the death penalty, and the guild system.

1.) Guild system. You swear direct allegiance to a person, one person may have up to 12 people under him. This creates giant chains, where the person on top is the guild leader, or "monarch". The person you swear too is responsible for you, and you have a private chat /patron. You are directly responsible for your vassals. It creates an excellent community, not to mention "rank" is created from the # of vassals, where rank is another stat. Finally, some of the XP that the vassals get when questing or killing gets double counted to YOU, so you get free xp.

2.) Death penalty temporarily gives you minus 5% (up to minus 40%) of your skills. It doesn't wear off with time, only with XP earned. For example, if I just died and have 5% penalty (or vitea as the game calls it), it'll say 5000 more XP to 4%. This 5000 xp isn't lost, I still use it to level, it just is a counter.

3.) Loss of items depends on level. Lower level characters only loose items in inventory, past a certain level you can loose anything. Level 1-10 characters loose 2 items and a % of cash, 20-30 loose 3 items. ect. Items lost CAN be random, but are mostly due to value. Make sure you keep some expensive loot, something worth more than your weapon (in AC, weapon value ($$$) is based on materials made of, not stats, so a gold sword set with diamonds will cost more than a steel one, but the steel might have better stats).

What this does is make it so if you're killed over and over and over, you can loose something valuable, but AC it is nearly impossible to griefcamp due to a 30 second or so respite from PVP upon death.

Because your patron is responsible for you, in general he'll come and fight for you, so your guild is your fighting force. This means a guild isn't just someone to give you free stuff and help you through, but you protect them and they protect you. Perfect community dynamic.

Unfortunately the graphics look like Thief 1 or something.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 11:31AM (Unverified) said

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I am a bit of a fellow "preacher" on this topic as well and its not so much equipment loss, but rather ANY type of loss. Lotro tries it through the need to repair, but at high levels, money is so easy, its not much. But they also try something through the whole players playing as monsters, which I think future games should all try. Maybe then we can have real Pvp.

But back to loss. You have to lose something. XP, gear, temporary skill loss, real damage to your good gear, no automatic res, have to run to get resed , something.

Not sure the current MMO playerbase will ever let us go back to UO, though I wish. I think they might allow something like LOTRO in the future, where some people can play as monsters and its one game and the other you play as a regular player and so it doesn't seem so "harsh" when you die and lose half your shit.

On the equipment loss idea though, UO got close with the bless deeds circa 2003, Bless deeds were rare, very rare and you couldn't bless everything, so you could have 1 or 2 things blessed, but if you died, you lost regs, pots and the rest of your armor and whatever else you had on you.

The overall problem is game developers these days don't seem to even "get it" Bring back Ralph Koster!

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 12:30PM (Unverified) said

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I don't think stiff death penalties have much of a place in any mainstream MMO. I can see the point in there being a few niche games sure, but not in the games for the masses.

What does a stiff death penalty gain you as a player? I dare say that the majority of players these days get their enjoyment from succeeding without the added pressure of having something really bad happen if they die. MMO's are designed to be 'play time' - not a time to have added stresses on their lives.

That said, I think the best compromise would be to have a certain server type available where there are harsher death penalties for dieing to satisfy this niche. It's not something you want to build in from the ground up if you want to keep the majority of players happy - but there's probably enough of a desire out there to have a few servers tweaked to meet that desire.

My $0.02.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 12:35PM (Unverified) said

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I see Darkfall mentioned up there, but I would also suggest checking out Mortal Online. It is due out some time in the summer of '09. Not alot of info is on the site, but there are a couple of Q&A threads in the forums that give quite alot of info. Also, in the IRC and the forums, that Developers are active members and will point out already confirmed info to dissolve arguments, and will occasionally hint toward un announced content.

The game is full PvP, skill based(both character and player skill), and full loot. When you die, you drop everything. If you are revived by an NPC, you will recive only the most basic clothing. The CEO(Henrik Nystrom) says he took quite alot of inspiration from UO and aims to make a game of the same spirit.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 12:37PM Softserve said

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I don't get the "it's not PvP if the repercussions aren't high enough!" mindset sometimes. It really depends on how other things are handled, for me.

I think, for a lot of people, your records of wins to losses is pretty strong repercussion to begin with. I don't want to have 5 wins and have died 50,000 times any more than the next person. And in War, having your side win a team battle is an enjoyable experience even if I just wind up spawning from the same place over and over again.

I think of FPS games or racing games or whatever else... If you lose, you just start over again. It doesn't make winning in them any less rewarding if you're playing against good players.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 1:26PM (Unverified) said

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Frankly, consequence free PvP has been around a long, long time. We call them deathmatches, and lots of people play them. People are interested in WoW and WAR's easy respawn, low consequence PvP model because... people like that sort of thing. Full stop.

There's not really any reason to think that there's some huge untapped market for 'high consequence' PvP. That's not to say that there's no market, but there's basically no evidence that people yearn for a return to UO's PvP model. Especially not when it's widely believed that one of the reasons EQ annihilated UO is EQ's (now industry standard) PvP-by-consent-only model.

Finally, I caution against thinking of this as an either-or issue. Clearly there is room in the market for both lower-investment PvP and higher-investment, high consequence PvP, a la UO, Shadowbane, etc, just like there's room in the market for Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty 4, and Bioshock.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 3:26PM UndeadAreGo said

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I always liked UO's death penalty, but I also know quite a few people who quit at the first opportunity because of those penalties. As pointed out, players weren't grinding in UO for weeks on end to get a single piece of armor though. Switching back to that death penalty would require a major overhaul to the way in which we play MMOs.

We also now need to separate PVP into World and Instanced. In Instanced PVP (eg WOW Battlegrounds), dying and losing out on a reward is penalty enough. On the other hand, the death penalties for World PVP in most games are utterly pointless. That's why battles usually end when one side gets bored, and not when a victor emerges.

In World PVP, I wouldn't mind seeing death penalties beyond lost-time, but gear should be off limits. Perhaps XP or cash? I do like aspects of WOW's Honor system, but what if it worked in reverse so that losing could restrict you from purchasing previously obtainable items?

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 4:09PM wjowski said

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Of course the stakes are low in modern PvP. That's why it's gotten as popular as it has. Heck, in UO PvPers were so despised the devs ended up being pressured into going through with the ill-fated Trammel/Felucca split.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 4:23PM (Unverified) said

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The death penalty dont really matter in the pvp fun equotion. What do matter is a meaning - the most basic meanings are challenge a human and death penalty.

If an MMORPG manage to give the PvP another meaning it can reduce the death penalty with out fear. Look at Eve (Territorial Control) or Guild Wars (Ladder Rank) in example. Both Games work well with a easy / none death penalty.


Now - if a MMORPG stripp the death penalty but fail to deliver an OTHER FUN meaning to PvP it's PvP system will fail. Look at WoW or AoC. Yes, of course to challenge a human is still fun in both games, but only for the first few hours/days/weeks of discovery and learing. Every thing is fun if it is new.

Posted: Sep 7th 2008 4:24PM (Unverified) said

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Conclusion:

MMORPGs that can no invent a inovative meaning for their PvP system should keep Death penaltys heigh ;)
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Posted: Sep 12th 2008 6:36PM wjowski said

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Except that, y'know, the reason PVP's gotten so popular as of late is the lack of stiff penalties for dying. I'll bet my life savings that if Blizzard made PVP deaths suffer the same penalties as PVE deaths the PVP servers'd be ghost towns within months.
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Posted: Sep 7th 2008 7:24PM (Unverified) said

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When I was playing EVE iin a big time way, our coporation hired one of the better merc corps to help out. These were some of the so call best PVP players in the game. After a large encounter two of the better players in the merc corp had lost their ships and both said on the secure chat that they had to go to the web and "buy some ISK" from one of these farming sites. That there turned be off so much that I quit playing EVE as it seemed that PVP loss meant nothing to them as they coupd just bypass the grind to refit by having deep real life pockets and just buy their way to fun and fame.

Posted: Sep 8th 2008 9:38PM Temploiter said

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The problem with most modern MMOs (yes, EVE excluded) is that they are based off of the DikuMUD and they have evolved into gear-based stat arms races, propelled by dev-delivered treadmills (I mean content) on a regular basis. It's not about fun, it's about e-crack and keeping people hooked on getting that next fix... it's a sick way to keep people playing and paying. Making the game fun on it's own merits is "radical" thinking these days.

Posted: Sep 13th 2008 4:12PM (Unverified) said

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The higher the stakes the more people will avoid an unfair fight. It becomes a gank-or-be-ganked system that focuses on selecting only the winnable fights and escaping the rest. PvP becomes much more strategic but it gets very hard to find a good fight.

When the stakes are meaningless, you get zerge. People engage more frequently, and the PvP is easy to find. But it lacks any strategy because there are no consequences.

Clearly Dev's aim for balance. But in my experiences, it's been all or nothing.

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