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When I play eve the most fun I have had involves player versus player conflict, it never really gets old for me because you are fighting an enemy who will adapt or do really stupid things but it has never become samey or boring.
If I look back at most of the pve mmo games that I have played everything seems dumbed down and stale, now do not get me wrong EVE is pretty much the only game I ever pvp in most other games restrict pvp too much but that is not what this post is about.
Let me make a statement
PVE as in player versus enviroment should be the greatest adventure any player can get involved in.
Now let me qualify that statement.
When the best of the counter strike bots came out they had to be toned down because as computer oponents they never missed and reaction times were pretty much instant so they were dumbed down.
For the longest time developers have been dumbing down computer oponents because they believe rightly so most of us can not handle what they could give us.
Would you like the following
An npc that learns, that can simulate a grudge or vengeance against you, that could track you down, train himself up and adapt its play style to beat you, an npc who could break into your house, steal your items and set you challenges "You find a note, while you were sleeping I took all your money from your bank, want it back meet me in the eldran forest at 3pm", stalk you while you chat with your friends, interrupt your party even find out the people you usually group with and begin taking them on and an ability to respawn in exactly the same way you do.
2001 a mud called EoM we created pfiles for npcs (a Pfile is the file a player has on the server it is your save file) the scripts were simple and never matched the length or process time used by a player file, no real load was put on the server.
Only a very few npc in the game world were tested with the code but it was interesting to see the result, you hadto actually perform an act against the npc to begin its memory and grudge routine, we are not talking the simplified and shallow nemesis of CO, it would begin to track you, keep a list of your friends, your haunts, favoured weapons and ability, checks were made to see if it had the ability to learn counter moves.
After testing sadly we decided not to impliment the system but the best example was this email from a tester, edited and sumerized to protect the scared
"Remove from test please!, I logged back on this morning and roger (npc name) had defaced my entire house do you %^££ realize how many months it took for me to create that place, my bank account is empty and the town guards have me on -10, seems because I ignored that bastard for two nights it had me framed for murder!!!!!!, my friends won't group with me tired of being backstabbed while in talos hills and the traps and notes are wrong"
When we reviewed the logs between fits of laughter and various "wth" statements the npc had followed the sabotage/hunter script set, knew where the guy leveled with his group so with the methodical nature of a machine script it trapped an entire area of the game and using disguise it commited crimes in his name all while he was sleeping away from game it even followed the merc optional and hired roving gangs of normal npc to attack him on sight.
Can you imagine having an mmo with just a few npc mobs like this maybe retired generals or iconic bounty hunters.
Am I wrong to still believe your average pve player could not handle this chance of real risk and danger, maybe pvp players would be able to adapt and fight this kind of threat easier.