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This week, designer Tork Shaw takes a look at different formats of PvP in Pathfinder Online and provides some insight into our latest thinking on these systems. But before we get to Tork's excellent post, I'd like to say a few words about PvP as an introduction to the topic.The first principle of our design for Pathfinder Online is "maximize meaningful human interaction." There are few interactions more meaningful in a MMO than combat between characters. We are often asked why PvP is a central part of our game design. This is the reason— conflict, and the special case of combat, is an engine that drives the rest of the game design. To become competent in battle, able to drive opponents from the field, or stand one's ground against an assault, requires players to invest time and energy in harvesting, processing, crafting, building and training. It promotes social cohesion. It gives people a sense that "freedom isn't free"—that if they want to play the Kingdom Game, to create settlements of a rich and powerful nature, they'll have to do so as others try to pull them down and take their place. They have to earn it. - In addition to more discussion of PvP, we're also going to begin doing a better job of sharing some of the visual materials we're making for the game. The Art Team cranks out all sorts of cool stuff continuously, and we've kept most of it under wraps. That's ending, starting with today's blog. We're going to try and show you some pretty pictures with every future blog, and we encourage you to give us your comments and feedback on the art just as you are already doing with the design. We're listening and we deeply care about what you have to tell us. OK, on to Tork! [Cont'd...]