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Reader Comments (9)

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 12:28PM Borick said

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I think that PVP (Both good and bad) is a limiting factor to sustained population in MMOs. It's a successful niche 'sport', but I don't think you should base a game off of PVP conflict if you expect it to go mainstream.

Most human beings are not competitive against their own kind, and they certainly don't want to sign up for brutal zero-sum systems.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:28PM (Unverified) said

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@Borick American Football, Basketball, Hokey, Football (Soccer), Cricket, Golf, Athletics, Poker, Risk, Dominoes, WWI, WWII, 1066, the Space Race, Brothers and Sisters...

To say Humans are not competitive is asinine it's more like asinten.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:59PM Borick said

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@(Unverified) I didn't say that humans weren't competitive. I said that they aren't focused on competition against their own kind.

Competition between humans only exists under protected circumstances. Most of the time people will do everything that they can to avoid causing harm to another person.

Zero-sum competitive sports are not representative of human beings any more than war is. Game theory teaches us that the winning strategy is to NOT fight.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:17PM arodriguezc said

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I think that the issue is not open world pvp but rather people. Let me explain with the two underlying issues here:

1 - High Barrier of entry
2 - The leveling process.

High barrier of entry. This basically means that a player that pvp constantly will get better gear and experience (experience is a good thing). Now when you first start out you expect to die a lot while you learn and while you get better gear, you could know how to pvp but still you will need the gear. That is the way life is, one possible solution would be to make the grind easier or bring the player not the gear mentality (meaning the difference between a common piece of gear and an uncommon is not that much). This will bring down the playing field, but what happens to the people that did the grind, they will be left out.

The leveling process. This is what in my opinion causes PVP to have a bad reputation, this is when you have some fool (because there is no other way to look at it if you think about it) that likes to pray on low level characters and then proceed to t-bag them or worse corpse camp them. After while the low level player will go on to say "screw this! I am done" and the game looses one valuable member. Soon the uber player has no one to kill because he(she) did not let anyone get to max level or totally destroy them for their amusement.

I have played in PVP games and had a lot of fun playing it. But I think that the term "open world pvp" is too descriptive and you alienate the pvers which are a bigger crowd than the pvpers. I like the way Lineage did the world (NO THE GRIND!). They had a attunement type where if you killed anyone you will change your attunement from blue to red and red was a free for all pinata loot... you could duel, you could kill someone (murder) but accept the consecuences of your actions, then you had the declaration of war to another guild where the rule was KOS without the penalty but the other guild had to accept the war declaration this made for fun rivalry... this was a means to a control pvp... and the king of all was the seiges of castles or inns. Those were fun and the winner would keep the castle for the week and get the benefit of making gold (incentive to seige castles). Well that is my 2 cents on the matter. Hope they implemented right and I may just return to AOC and give them my money.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:21PM Space Cobra said

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I think he misses one aspect of it in his "Conquest" dialogue.

He says, correctly, that players like to amass power to achieve "conquest" of the world, be it against NPCs or other players.

The fundamental thing is, he sort of misses the whole, "I want to build something" aspect that has been with us since PnP RPGs. Basically, this is not limited to "building a house" but goes into "building your character's stats" or even into "acquiring powerful items...that builds your stats" or even "building skills", such as crafting.

Many players like to create a character; they like to roll a character and they like to build a character up. This gives them an outlet to "build" something and see it grow over time. Again, think of the PnP examples: some guy starts rolling his stats and he starts thinking of reasons his Charisma is low: At that point, he is building up his character in his mind and on paper.

This is opposed to someone who may roll a character and instantly min/max and switch numbers for high strength and just leave the character a "blank slate" and name him "Fred". He doesn't have any attachment to the character. If "Fred" lives or dies, he can roll up another and just "compete". It is easy for him to "start over" because he just wants to do combat and game mechanics. There is little to no emotional investment. Of course, such an investment *may* happen as a game progresses and adventures happen, but it may not.

In someways, it's like your stereotype of kid(s) building a sandcastle at the beach. They pile the sand. They may even make a big castle, complete with moats and windows and sticks used for flags and such. Then comes another kid(s) and they see this and feel the need to knock over the sand castle. Both personalities are different. One wants to build and see worth in his building, the other wants to tear down for various reasons; either illiciting a reaction or to show his "power" (and who knows? Maybe he doesn't know or appreciate building, so don't show him your new MMO as you build your next MMO! ;P )

In some strong sense, this is what is best served in a "themepark" but since you are limited in many aspects, these "builders" want a sandpark. However, the "competitors" view the "Open World MMO" differently and those views do clash and really, in a "real" natural world, they cannot flourish or survive. While some competitors may plant crops in-game and grow their power, others just want to prepare to fight and fight and can't be bothered by "details" such as adding things to other systems beyond min/maxing their attack/defense (that goes for building defensive walls). In some ways, the good ones prefer to plan and carry forth such a plan of take over. So, in a sense, their world becomes "lifeless" to others, since they are more about "self-improvement" than about "taking over a world". So they leave, since they are not getting their goals accomplished, thanks to "gankers" or wars that impede their progress in some way.

In a sense, both sides cannot have a "real-world simulation", albeit I daresay the "builders" probably could make theirs last longer, but there is a danger of "over-building", as in the real-world. Over-hunting and all the sort.

So this "chase" for a "real open world" in an MMO is, IMHO, fruitless. Someone, and they tend to be devs, better play "god" and fudge the rules a bit and let trees grow, animals spawn more than they naturally would, and add more land mass.

In this regard, it is a balancing act between both parties that I don't think many take into account; IMHO, many are looking at the otherside and asking good questions, but I don't see them fully comprehending why "the otherside doesn't like a FFA PvP MMO world". At least they are asking, but some don't seem to be.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 2:03PM Borick said

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@Space Cobra "IMHO, many are looking at the otherside and asking good questions, but I don't see them fully comprehending why "the otherside doesn't like a FFA PvP MMO world"."

Well-said. While folks will pick me apart for saying that most human beings aren't zero-sum competitive, they still can't answer the question as to why the 'other side' doesn't accept having sand kicked in their faces and has no interest in kicking sand on anyone else.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 3:55PM Dunraven said

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Conan dose PVE and story way better than PVP....that is what they should stick with.

Posted: Jan 26th 2012 10:41AM MustardCutter said

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Why is the game director of the game that confuses pve objectives with pvp and has ghost town pvp servers preaching to the industry about pvp? The only good stuff about AoC he inherited from the previous game director.

Posted: Feb 20th 2012 9:59AM Cylien said

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Jef, have you stopped writing Anvil of Crom? DON'T!

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