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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 10:08AM Pingles said

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Hardcore is one thing.

Hardcore and FUN is another.

Gonna take a lot of tweaking to make a hardcore game that folks actually enjoy, other than running around in the biggest gang on the server.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 10:26AM Temploiter said

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I'm going to quote a column I wrote for a now defunct site:


Hardcore PvP, a Crafter's Paradise?
Written by Temploiter


In MMOs there are a large segment of players that play to make and sell virtual items. These Crafters are an integral part of any virtual world game, and also play an important, albeit marginalized, role in loot-based EQ clones that support crafting as a side-profession from a primary class. The items that crafters can make vary from game to game, but usually include weapons and armor, but can also include vehicles, housing, and other structures. Crafters also typically can make consumables, like food, drink, buffs, and potions. In virtual world games with full player economies, crafters are the bedrock of player items. Players visit public markets or player-run shops/vendors to buy their equipment and consumables with the money the have accumulated through quests, missions, bounties, looting, or other trade. So, why would a hardcore PvP game be an ideal place for Crafters, especially crafters who aren't so much into combat of any kind?

For crafters, it is important, especially in a virtual economy, to brand themselves, and to become widely known to support their in-game business or trade. This can take the form of "barkers" who stand in populated areas to hawk the wares being produced. It can also take the form of in-game advertising through shop signs or intro-gear available on public markets. Just like in real life though, word of mouth is probably the best form of advertising for crafters in MMOs. When word gets around that a crafter has great prices, great quality, great selection, or all of the above, it usually means a great payday! So, how does PvP fit into this? Well, aside from the brutal kill-a-thon that is hot hot PvP action, PvPers like to talk about PvPing. Talking about PvPing usually involves some talk about gear. Finding out where somebody got their great equipment is part of improving yourself in a PvP environment (among many other things, of course). Some servers had crafters that developed cult-like followings from PvPers looking to get the latest and greatest off the production line for their next battle. Fierce loyalties were forged as PvPers would argue over who had the best weapons or armor. All this talk and furor meant increased traffic at the vendors of these crafters, not only from the hardcore PvPers, but also more casual PvPers that were listening to these conversations, or heard it through the grapevine.

Some games support the unique naming and branding of equipment. In these games, the crafter's name, or their business name would be carried into epic battles between players. This was a point of pride, I know, for some crafters. Knowing that their weapon or armor helped to defeat Uberman3000 not only boosted their reputation, but also their investment into the game itself. They were not only an integral part of the player economy, but now an integral part of the PvP meta-game. In a hardcore PvP game with full gear loot, the stakes are even higher for crafters. Obtaining their well crafted equipment can be an objective of PvP. Knowing that PlayerX carries exclusive weapons from Weapon Master Iman could mean he is a bigger target, and that is because of the crafter's hard work. Looting a great piece of gear from a player in PvP can be yet another passive form of advertising, as that player, and his friends may well become regular customers. Full-loot PvP also means that crafters are even more essential than otherwise. Players and Guilds will need to keep well-stocked arsenals to re-equip themselves after a defeat in order to rejoin the battle, or to fight another day. This creates much more demand for crafted items than mere item decay.

Keeping a well-stocked arsenal, and needing high quality equipment, makes crafters a highly prized commodity themselves. In games like EVE, SWG, UO, DAoC, and Shadowbane guilds actively seek (or sought) to recruit master craftsman to their organizations. Having a well-known crafter shop in your guild city means that other guild merchants and the guild coffers themselves will be enriched. Just like real life Chambers of Commerce, actively recruiting successful businesses helps everyone in the community. But, in hardcore games, like the upcoming Darkfall Online, EVE, Shadowbane, or old-school UO, having multiple skilled crafters as members means the difference between survival and death. Guilds will fight to keep and protect their source of high quality equipment. Guilds also provide the crafter a higly motivated support network to gather resources to help in the plying of the trade. Hardcore PvP games raise the stakes all around, and crafters are no exception, they are absolutely essential. Contrast this with kill/loot/level games where crafting is a mere sideshow. Crafting is by no means essential in EQ clones; it may provide minor benefits, or at worst, their gear is only a stop-gap between having nothing, and looting something uber from an NPC. In virtual world games without hardcore PvP, crafters have a much more important role, elevating them to integral parts of the player economy, and also important sources of an edge in consentual or factional PvP. In hardcore full-loot PvP games, crafters are all of the above, a well sought out commodity, and the difference between success and failure in the game. It may seem an oxymoron, but a virtual world full-loot PvP game may just be the type of game where people who like crafting may find the most enriching gameplay experience.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 11:19PM Dread said

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Give people the virtual opportunity to be douchebags and they won't disappoint ;)

The other thing is, in regards to your article, how am I going to craft if I'm getting ganked the second I step out?

'Hardcore PvP' is a myth. For every 1 supposed "Hardcore' PvPers you have about 50 gankers.
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Posted: Feb 23rd 2009 7:28PM Temploiter said

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I'm not sure what game you are referring to Dread, but all of the "open" or "hardcore" PvP games I've played have mostly safe areas in which to craft.

Which game were you playing with a 50 to 1 "ganker" to PvPer ratio?
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Posted: Feb 21st 2009 11:19AM Holgranth said

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I TOTALY agree with Scott Jennings to go WAAY back in time to my days of discovering mmo's I played a few months of Runescape classic. This was JUST as the wilderness launched, there were a LOT of "Hardcore" pvpers out there.

But first a quick explaination of how the Wilderness worked (Or how I remember it working fanboi's feel free to correct me) The wilderness was had levels of danger at level 1 you could attack people within 1 level of you, at level 2 within two levels of you, at level 3, 3 levels and so on. I think some areas were also multicombat so more than one player could attack a single player.

Also there was a mechanic called skulling, if you attacked another player without them attacking first you were "Skulled" and if you died you lost everything you were carrying.

Unskulled you lost all but 3 items.

Well lemme put it this way most of those "Hardcores" took 3 items with them and about 95% of all people stayed in level 1 wilderness (where they could easily run out if things went bad) and tuanted other people to try and get them to attack them.

High level wilderness was deserted except for VERY high levels that were rich and could afford losses. Multi combat Wilderness was deserted except for a few rich clans.

Because no one ever wanted to skull unless they had nothing to lose (or could run one square and be out of the wilderness, there was actually VERY little pvp

Now Darkfall could have learned a LOT from this but they didn't

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 11:53AM (Unverified) said

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As a supposed "hardcore" pvper from AC's Darktide back in the day anyway, I think people people mistake being hardcore to just prefering a challange, and not caring if you loose your stuff.

The hardcore aspect made guilds fun, because you would own a bindstone and work as a team to use a dungeon for XP, and if you died and had your stuff looted, go buy, find more stuff. It wasn't about being hardcore, it was about a guild and teamwork atmosphere that actually mattered for more than just getting your raid gear. It makes you rely on people.

At least thats how I felt about it.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 12:21PM (Unverified) said

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I played UO pre-trammel and did nothing but PKing and duel tournaments on top of keeps. I played AC-Darktide and I have absolutely no interest in Darkfall.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 1:36PM (Unverified) said

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I'm not sure I understand. I thought gear wasn't a big deal in this game. That losing your fancy sword mattered as much as someone killing you and taking your AWP in counter-strike.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 2:32PM Holgranth said

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It's really more about being ganked constantly by players and monsters. Most people THINK they will be the ganker not the gankee.

and guess what gear matters!
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2009 1:48PM (Unverified) said

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so maybe crafter is the safe group, if you kill them you are going to be in trouble because they make the gear you buy.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 2:11PM Drexel said

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Gear isn't that big a deal in Darkfall. Much like in UO getting a full set of decent gear as a noob is a bit of a challenge. However, once you establish yourself it will be very easy to fully equip yourself in the darkfall equivalent of a GM "dexxer-suit" or a kilt and headband (for you mages out there :P) and go out pwning faces...then when it turns out the faces you tried to pwn actually return the pwning and loot you dry...you can reach into your bank, re-equip then do it all over again.

In UO the best stuff most people PvP'd in was GM gear, it was high end crafted gear but easily affordable and replaceable. Most people had a mule or a reliable vendor they would go to and stock up on many, many death's worth of gear for a good night of PvP. Not to mention that, if you get good enough at the PvP you can also gear up with your victims loot/gear.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 3:09PM (Unverified) said

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In UO i stayed inside the safe walls of Britain for more than a month, it's been SO much fun and SO scary and realistic.

It was ABOUT TIME someone remembered what's fun about MMO'ing.

Posted: Feb 21st 2009 11:02PM Everrest said

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I'm going to have to echo the sentiments of Droid.

I was there for Pre-trammel UO and i thoroughly enjoy the design of a sand-box MMO. In fact, I have been excited about the release of DF for many years now. Truly a long time follower.

Unfortunately, DF has turned out to be far too one dimensional. It's simply unfinished and cannot accurately be considered a fully realized sand-box game.

It has potential sure. But lots of things have potential, and i can only find the stomach to support things that actually succeed, which sadly I don't think DF will accomplish. We'll see, maybe 6 months out all the issues will be fixed and it will be a great game. Time will tell, but i wont hold my breath.

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