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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 12:43PM (Unverified) said

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So what is said in this article is that in PvP games balance is difficult, players complain about nerfs and shitty programmers make shitty games. How are these things different than any other type of game?

The trouble is that we haven't really had a pure PvP game. Every game that is PvP centric has PvE elements, even if they are just killable NPCs.

The issues in this article seem to be more with MMORPGs that introduce PvP. A version of Team Fortress with a persistent world would work, like a Global Agenda without character levels. Or APB. As stated in the article, using EVE as the example, the issue isn't with PvP, it's with poor implementation.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 6:24PM ColRoofles said

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> People talk a lot about liking PvP, but most of the time it's they like to win.

My thoughts exactly.

I was really looking forward to Darkfall's release, since it caters to the most hardcore PVPers, and I hadn't played a real PVP MMO since UO SP (sb.exe wasn't that much fun.) After playing it for a few months I've realized that the vast majority of players don't really care about PVP / competition. The only thing that seems to matter to most people is winning at all cost; they will use and abuse the system in any way possible to defeat their opponent, be it by zerging them, using exploits, or even cheat programs. The number of people who really want to compete is really small (I'd say they make up about 10% of the "hardcore PVP" group.) I'm pretty sure most dev teams see it the same way I do, and so it's understandable that they find designing (true) PVP centric MMORPGs to be a huge waste of time and money.
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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 12:45PM Thac0 said

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The danger is people will get ganked then QQ all over until they nerf or balance the game into oblivion.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 1:00PM (Unverified) said

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I agree completely with Kdolo. I know there are many people out there whose only experience with PvP is that it means they get ganked while they'd rather be tip toeing through the tulips picking flowers. Let me make it clear I don't like the sport of hunting unsuspecting players when their life is low, though I don't get bitter if it happens to me, I like the tension and reality it adds. MMO's are typically extremely boring for me, all you do is grind mindless mobs with horrible AI that sit there waiting for you to kill them. There is nothing challenging about it, it literally puts me to sleep.

I enjoy the sportsmanship of facing real players, with real strategies that are ready for me. I love straight, honest dules, and group vs group PvP with strategical maps, pretty much all of it.

As Kdolo pointed out, the problem is that no one has done a straight PvP MMO, everyone makes a PvE game with PvP added in. It simply doesn't work. It creates nothing but tension and the game dev's are unable to make a game that will satisfy one or the other. WAR is the perfect example. It was touted for years as the PvP version of WoW. Instead it just ended up being another level grind with boring PvP. They had a lot of great ideas, they actually made tanks have a role in PvP, some really ingenious classes taking elements from TF2, but it just ended up as another uninspired yawn-fest. I'm still waiting for the MMO that is truly focused on PvP, and not just a point and shoot FPS either.

I think Fallen Earth has a great system for PvP with it's open builds, and mix of mutations, FPS, 3rd person shooter, and traditional melee options. But unfortunately they've barely even touched on PvP yet.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 1:07PM Dblade said

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People talk a lot about liking PvP, but most of the time it's they like to win. In practice, they often bring such overwhelming odds and use underhanded tricks like attacking bases during a time zone when most of the defenders are asleep, using overwhelming force against small groups or solo players, or use tactics which eliminate the ability to fight back at all.

In playing EVE and trying to understand PvP and the mindset, I see this. People do not talk as much about close fights or have fun battles as opposed to how they ganked some miner in his hulk, or some mission runner who was fitted for PvE and had not much chance of fighting back. Or they talk about tricking people into fighting, or they fight people to ruin their gameplay as opposed to have fun fights.

The problem with PvP is that people don't like it at all. They like winning and showing power, and PvP is often the best way to do it.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 7:31PM wjowski said

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And this. This is also very true.
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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 1:12PM Tizmah said

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Personally, I say drop PvP and make it an after though, more like just an extra mini-game to play. Seems like PVP just adds more trouble of balancing and wasting time on the devs that could be making awesome PVE content. There is nothing wrong with having a pure PvE focused MMO, they always want to seem to mix the two.

Would the "MMO" you guys are describing really be classified as an MMO if comparing it somewhat to TF2?

Then..why doesn't just created an online game that's exactly like TF2 or any other online "shooter"..but make it third person and persistant? Does that mean problem solved? That sounds to simple.

But really, TF2 is practically an MMO now with it's new crafting system, haha.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 1:45PM esarphie said

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The popular player on player games, such as shooters, card games, whatever.. have one thing in common: all players start with parity. Your top-seeded tennis player, for instance, doesn't get two helper-players who stand behind him to pick up any shots he misses just because he's been playing longer.

The RPG-style MMO, which draws its roots from table-top gaming, is supposed to "simulate" learning and growing as a character, which means outside of any player-growth as a result of learning the game system better or developing new strategies, there's a gross superiority forced upon the characters by game mechanics due to this simulated development.

This sort of inherent inequality makes MMO pvp either suffer from artificial restrictions (you can't hit that guy, he's 6 levels below you, instead of 5), or the guarantee that the guy who is X levels above you will kill you... no matter what. Now, you can dress it up any number of ways, artificially level characters in pvp, or put in points that favor fighting at level or whatever, but at heart the essence of an mmorpg is inequality.

This inequality is what makes long hours slogging through quests, or hunting, or however you're getting your experience and items, worth it, yet it also makes pvp problematic at best, and a mind-numbingly horrid experience at worst.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 3:17PM Blacknimbus said

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PvE is somewhat predictable for game programmers....PvP centric games are not predictable at all.

That's the real difference.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 5:04PM Graill440 said

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Totally untrue. ANY game regardless of genre or style of play is predictable 100% of the time.

Your stating BN that putting a group of folks into an environment that is unregulated, unpoliced, has no consequence, and is inherantly corrupt isnt predictable? That you have no idea what would happen over time?

You should be a dev with thinking like that.
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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 6:43PM Blacknimbus said

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If MMORG's were 100 percent predictable, this article and most of the crying on forums wouldn't exist. I should have said that in PvE, the developer has more control than in a PvP environment.

In PvE, the developer has almost complete control over the field of play because they not only set the stage, they control one side of an encounter and force the player to jump through their hoops.

In PvP, both sides are player driven, which introduces variables that an automated encounter does not have. You have to rely on your player base to write a larger part of their own story. Your failure rate will be much higher because you are expecting more from your player base.

So yes, my original point still stands.
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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 3:56PM (Unverified) said

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As someone whose a big fan of PvP as endgame content, and someone whose been playing online games since the days of MUDS, I will say this: I've never played anything as fun or on the odd occasion, edge of my seat thrilling as say Altarec valley on a Saturday morning, or Wintergrasp on an evening. In fact I don't think any other game has ever come close.

I like PvP/RvR because it's less bitchy and more of a laugh than endgame raiding, I'd rather farm a battleground than a predictable instance any day. Apparently AION has pretty good action, but after levelling to 20 in the betas and then 20 in the open game I was just too impatient too carry on. and went back to do Ettermores.

You see, the thing about a lot of these PvP games is that theirs not actually much PvP in them, as weird as that sounds. Except EVE, but that's not something in a class of it's own :)

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 3:50PM (Unverified) said

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The problem in all of it is when a PVP player is forced into wasting his time doing PVE to be able to compete. The greatest example of this is when Dark Age of Camelot released Trials of Atlantis. Up until that very minute I was happily playing straight PVP every single moment I was on. After the expansion I didn't stand a chance against players that invested huge amounts of time into PVE to get there mastery levels etc. It turned an excellent pvp game into a insanely boring pve grind with pvp elements.
Until a game comes out where npc mobs do not exist, where leveling and gearing up are STRICTLY done via pvp experience and skill, the likelihood I will play a mmo for its player versus player aspects are Nil.

Posted: Dec 22nd 2009 7:19AM (Unverified) said

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I think it's League of Legends, HoN or DotA that you're after :)
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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 4:34PM Graill440 said

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The tools to make PVP fun for both the ganked and the vet griefer are available, the problem? Devs with no common sense and ignorant thinking stuck in the way they were taught continue to pollute MMO's.

Until Devs Think about what players want and not what their investors want PVP will be harsh for new subs in any game while the griefers/gankers/hardcore QQ's will want the status quo to remain as it is, and keep subs low. Not good business.

I have stated many times that only consequence implemented properly will give the ganked and the ganker rewards.

I have also stated that linear thinking WIll kill a PVP MMO. Chaos is great fun, but eventually it will eat away at itself until there is nothing left.

Take EVE for example, Less than 100k folks paying for multiple accounts making 300k odd accounts give or take. The game is so small they have less than 60k folks on at peak times, and this happens only at rare times, expansions or some large patch, sad. The mechanics in the game reward "lord of the flies" behaviour and drive away potential subs, a fact in this particular game, and one that is killing it.

Could Eve (excuse my using EVE as an example) be a huge PVP success? Yes it could if consequence and proper game mechanics were inplemented. those that love to gank could still do so, only this time there would be a heavy price to pay if caught, the victim if overly abused would be compensated in several ways to prevent their leaving and still get satisfaction, while not alienating the PVP'r that likes to gank.

The tech to do this exists, sadly most devs have a hard head and soft ass.

A game that feeds on itself without replenishment WILL die eventually, no matter what devs do to try and prevent it. I swear, most dev team leads need to be fired and never allowed to touch an MMO as long as they live.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 7:37PM wjowski said

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300k accounts for 100k people? Got any hard data to back that up?
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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 10:36PM (Unverified) said

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There's hard data available.. unfortunately it all contradicts Graill's claims, not supports them. While multiple accounts are common amongst hardcore players - and hardcore players are of course highly visible - it's actually a small minority of players who have more than one account. I would hazard a guess that if there are 300k accounts, there are certainly more than 250k players.

As for the number of concurrent players, that's not actually at all low for a game with 300k accounts. 20% of your subscriber base online simultaneous is not a small percentage.
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Posted: Dec 21st 2009 5:40PM (Unverified) said

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I used to love the RvR keep sieges in DAoC. The fixed locations meant long battles in one spot, and even if your team wiped there were allies nearby to rez you and get you back into the fight quickly.

However, I didn't enjoy "open field" RvR for the same reason that I have been turned off by every other MMO PvP I've tried. In the open field, my team would almost always encounter an enemy group who had abilities that allowed them to quickly defeat us with almost no risk to themselves, then run away before our allies could arrive. Basically, due to the specifics of their classes, they had powers that either did much greater damage than we could, or become temporarily immune to our attacks.

I don't mind fighting a losing battle against superior numbers, but I want at least a slim chance to win. Failing that, I'd liek to be able to "take a few of them with me". In too many cases, the special abilities given to one or more classes in an MMO grant those players an "I WIN" button that almost guarantees victory over those of other classes.

If you are going to give one class a "super-extra damage" attack, ensure that the opponents have some means of mitigating it. In an RvR game, maybe 2 of 8 opposing classes have a "shield spell" to reduce the damage from "pile of ashes" to "help I'm on fire!" levels. The enemies will still fear the attack, but it won't take them out of the battle instantly.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 5:51PM (Unverified) said

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while no game is perfect, I think EVE and WoW have come close in how they implement PvP. WoW has such a huge variety of options - from PvP servers to battlegrounds, that it's simply one click away. The bear mount a huge amount of fun since it encouraged huge groups to invade other cities.

EVE is AMAZING when it comes to PvP. You never have to engage in it if you don't want to. High Sec space is as close as it gets. When you decide to engage in it, you better know your stuff. Those with more forces, better communication, and a greater understanding of EVE tactics will prevail. The price of failure is expensive.

They have a few things they still need to sort out, like station games in high sec.

The author is right about games built by players, building games they want to play. It's a faulty way to develop a game. I always feel bad for all the bashing developers are subjected too. Video game design is one of those fields where since everyone has played a game, they think they are qualified to tell others how to design one.

Posted: Dec 21st 2009 6:12PM (Unverified) said

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Planetside, a game with no PvE at all, is a good example of how you can make a PvP game this is enjoyable even for those that generally avoid PvP because of the unsavoury individuals it often attracts.

With that game spawn camping leads to diminishing returns experience wise and people just start spawning elsewhere anyway. There is always one spawn location which the enemy cannot camp. It also punished the ultimate idiots who like to kill people on their own side.

You also didn't lose any equipment when you got killed, you could just re-equip (timers permitting) and carry on. Most people really won't put up with losing stuff when they die in MMOs. It also meant that a level 1 person and a level 20 person are on equal footing if using the same weapon, the only difference comes down to the skill of the player.

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