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Reader Comments (33)

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 8:20AM Temploiter said

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I guess you'd have to define "success". So many commentators and forum-posters today define it as "WOW-KILLER!". But, if you define it as returning a profit then I think the answer is easily YES, it can be PvP-free and succeed. It's not something that everyone would play, but if it is done well, content-rich and polished, then many people will play it.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 8:21AM Platypus Man said

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I don't really know if a game has to have PvP to survive. I've never particularly cared much for PvP, and know quite a few fellow gamers who also do not. Personally, I play games to relax and become immersed, and often the "keeping up with the Joneses" factor of PvP begins to feel like a second job to me.

I certainly don't mind that it exists - if developers strike a balance between PvE and PvP content and don't nerf skills into oblivion to appease any of the whiners among the PvP contingent. (Not to say that all PvPers are whiners - but as in any case, the loudest and the most obnoxious wheel tends to get the grease.)

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 8:52AM (Unverified) said

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The problem with PVP is that you usually have extremes. You have Darkfall where acting like the a jackass gets you rewarded or you have WoW where the PVP amounts to nothing more than a gear grind. I don't want to start a game and get ganked by some high level ass, but at the same time I wouldn't mind putting the beat down on someone KSing me. Some happy medium would be nice.

I think my dream MMO would have some sort of middle ground where PVP was on a grand arena where you go fight that "big evil alien race" on a neutral site for control of dungeons, and raiding spots, and quest lines. With a winner takes all or at least gets benefits from winning the weekly PVP battle. Something like Warhammer but more relevant and on a bigger scale.Striking the balance between two pointless extremes. Probably something close to Tabula Rasa sadly enough.

But in the end either way PVP can only be a part of the whole. When either it or PVE is the whole everything suffers.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 8:53AM (Unverified) said

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PvP is needed to appeal to a broader audience. I've never been Big on it, especially arenas in wow (bgs are kinda fun to jump in for an hour or two). But at max level, when there is very little content for solo or pair players PvP is a perfect break in monotony.

"need to be successful" probably not, is it one of the bricks in the wall holding up the game; Yes I think so.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 9:15AM (Unverified) said

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PvP is the ultimate in player made content and should be a must in all mmo's in my opinion. It is the excitement of fighting a real live thinking opponent over a scripted computer AI that has kept me playing mmo's for over 10 years.

But, the way pvp is implemented in most games is wrong and further widens the chasm between pvp-ers and pve-ers.

PvP must be an aspect of the game, but not the only aspect as things will quickly become tiresome, there must also be risk and loss involved or it becomes pointless and repetitive.

As an example, for me, ultima at least tried to do it right after the felluca/trammel split; Instead of making separate pve and pvp servers games should a facet of both on one server with greater rewards (xp, money, magical items) for fighting in the pvp version.

This would at least allow pve-ers to 'dabble' in pvp rather than being on a pve labelled server like most mmos now provide. Given the chance they may find that they like the extra excitement and danger.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 9:19AM heartlessgamer said

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There really is two questions here.

1. Can a PvP-centered MMO be successful? Yes, Darkfall is successful (albeit in a way that still makes me want to LOL about the game). WAR is quasi-successful (albeit well below expectations for many). EVE is extremely successful (albeit taking years to do so).

None of them are WoW-successful and that's the Internet's arguement against PvP.

2. Does a game need PvP servers to be successful? A great example is Runes of Magic. Does it really need its PvP server? Probably not, and if you ask me, it actually hurts the game. The Grimdal PvP serer is horrible and I would of loved to have seen the development for that server be re-focused into the main PvE game. Funnily enough, that PvE includes Guild vs Guild Castle fights and /duel, which are PvP, but completely aside from the game.

I really don't think you can ask if an MMO simply needs "PvP", because basic player interaction breeds Player vs. Player, regardless of whether someone is smashing face or not.

Its a question of whether an MMO needs a completely seperate rules set and secondary PvP server type to have success. IMHO, they don't and its a detriment for a lot of MMOs.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 9:19AM Minofan said

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Well you don't need it for a successful game, but games can be successful with it or because of it.

I do think PvP is best served in extremes though...

a] Build the whole game around it, balance everything around it and pack the rewards in to get people playing.
or
b] Marginalize it/eliminate it and balance everything around PvE, make the rewards trivial or identical to PvE.

The only bad implementation in my mind is trying to please everyone with a mishmash, which usually results in PvE suffering to PvP balance and PvPers envying PvE loot.
It's not like any one game envelops the entire market place, so I'll never understand why games aim to be universally just-OK when they could be trying to make something that one half or the other will love.

Just because PvE is popular and PvP is popular does not mean they belong in the same games, anymore than FPS + Sims or RPG + rhythm belong together.
Imagine WAR with the PvE 60% of each map filled with PvP attractions, or City Of Heroes with free-reign given to superheroic PvE craziness (e.g. grabbing foes and dropping them from 10 storeys up, impassable forcefields, telepathic possession)...

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 9:27AM archipelagos said

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I have to echo everyone else on this:

Does a game need PvP to be successful? No, absolutely not. There should never be the pressure upon a studio to simply include it because they feel they ought to, as if it's somehow part and parcel of what an MMO is. It's an option. The same applies for PvE, can an MMO be purely about PvP? I believe so.

I think that part of the reason (or perhaps the main reason) for why so many MMO's are now including a large PvP aspect to their game is simply down to numbers. When you choose to focus on PvE and PvP that's two communities your game can cater to which means a larger number to draw from. If it's just one you have fewer people. Simple.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 9:41AM Pingles said

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PvP is probably the cheapest way to keep players interested in a game.

Otherwise you need to be pretty aggressive adding new content.


Posted: Apr 12th 2009 9:48AM (Unverified) said

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You have to keep in mind balancing. Balance is an ongoing issue with pvp which certainly detracts from the idea of "Get pvp right once and you don't have to spend a dime on it". It's never happened like that unless you are talking about an FPS.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2009 9:46AM (Unverified) said

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I believe for long term success it is important to have PvP in the game play. But good pvp doesn't make a game automatically successful. The other elements of the game also have to be there also: performance, originality, theme, UI, and a whole list of other things. I do believe there that PvP is a strong factor however because it is the one part of a game that is always different (Look at FPS games).

People have been playing de_Dust2 for 10+ years.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 10:11AM (Unverified) said

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I don't think PvP is necessary in an MMO. As most people attach RPG to MMO, I find people who think PvP is mandatory interesting in that our old tabletop RPGs never forced players to pit their characters against each other. I imagine PvP stems from the player with a more competitive, twitchy, FPS background than one with an RP bent.

I won't deny that PvP can't be fun, but I don't think it should be forced into a game. WAR, for instance, fits PvP perfectly into their game, with the possible exception of imbalanced oRvR. Scenarios are great and classes have the potential to be balanced because balance is based on large groups, just as PvE is.

WoW, on the other hand, balances PvP on small groups, some would argue on 1v1. Characters have to excel in survivability as well as damage output to stand a chance in PvP. By contrast, PvE is balanced on larger groups of 10 to 25, where certain classes with certain abilities will be nerfed because a character's survivability and damage output have to be inverse, and also have to account for utility.

An example of where PvP should not be included is in the upcoming Champions Online. People on the forums are clamoring for PvP. Why? We're going to fight other heroes? That makes no sense. Supposedly there will be limited "arena" matches who's only rewards seem to be bragging rights, but any kind of story driven content should be avoided until they include character-driven villains.

In the end, questions like the one this forum poses are dangerous. Designers should make either a PvP or PvE centric game and focus their resources on just that aspect.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 10:22AM deluxe2000 said

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Yes absolutely. Id say the biggest thing hindering PvP being more popular is the perceived notion of PvP as someone sneaking up behind you while your killing a mob, then camping your body for hours.

If its done right, as in:
- you being able to get to max level and get geared out via PvE all without ever being in a PvP fight
- having PvP being part of the backstory and well built into the immersion of the world (a la DAoC or EVE,,,,,WAR will be there in a year+)
- PvP offering different rewards/ranks/achievements/abilities then the PvE aspect of the game.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 10:18AM Crsh said

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I'm a complete noob when it comes to PvP and I'm not afraid to say that I suck at it. PvPing in MMOs can be fun though if it has a purpose and is designed accordingly.

In Eve and Warhammer for instance, you gain zone control and there are global benefits from it. In WoW however, given that Blizzard just slapped it on top of a PvE game with no risk, no global effect, it's only fighting in a box for no reason or purpose, that's where my interest fades away pretty quickly.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 10:34AM (Unverified) said

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned FFXI. FFXI while nowhere near as sucessful as WoW has been pretty popular overseas, as well as here in America. The PVP is little to none. Even when it was implemented it is rarely used.

The Systems Ballista, a form of hockey/soccer style game utilizing rooks and stones was the first form of pvp implemented into FFXI. It fared well, but was not a straight form of pvp.

Then came Brenner, a capture the flag/base style pvp. Again didn't garner many people to play it shortly after it's initial launch into the game.

Yet, what has driven FFXI is it's team based community and story heavy gameplay.

So, No I don't think PVP is needed in a MMO for it to be successful. Is it a nice addition yes? Does it broaden the accepted audience, yes.. usually.

I like when PVP is there, but isn't something that will interfere or hamper my storyline or gameplay experience. (Aka Pking, while doing a quest, etc..)

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 10:35AM Kaio said

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No, FFXI pvp is almost none existant and useless and its still going strong after 7 years. Also PvP seems to be a cesspool for a--holes.

For MMORPGs PvP is something I personally could do without but I understand that there are different strokes for different folks. I've met a lot of people in Guild Wars and pvp is the only thing they do. It can add

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 10:38AM Kaio said

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It can add another level of gameplay to the game, but I dont think its needed to be successful

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 11:02AM hami83 said

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Lord of the Rings Online doesn't REALLY have PvP (Well really crappy PvP) and it's a successful and really good game.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 12:24PM Wensbane said

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Probably not as "crappy" as you think...

People say that a lot but most have never really experienced it. The truth is that I have 100 times more fun in the Ettenmoors everyday, than I ever did, for example, in a Warhammer Online siege (even playing as a "creep").

With that said, I don't think PvP is mandatory for a game to be successful, but I admit that I will never buy an MMORPG that has no Player vs Player competition whatsoever.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2009 1:03PM hami83 said

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I've played it. :P

It was kinda like a larger better AV from WoW.

But like you kind of imply. It is mainly based on opinion, and I agree with you that it's not necessary. If the PvE is good enough you don't need PvP
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