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[Editorial] General: Modern PVP Sucks and Here's Why

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,571MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Nothing says controversy like any discussion about player versus player game play. But, hey! We like controversy and want to on take today's version of PvP and the thought that it just might suck. See if you agree before letting us know what you think in the comments.

A few weeks ago, at an event for a particularly popular MMO halfway across the world, I found myself spraying food and hate across a dinner table. What had started as a charming meal, had turned into a skirmish that floated somewhere between the dumplings and Shiitake mushrooms. Why? Well as often happens when MMORPG enthusiasts get together, just after swapping EverQuest corpse-run tales, and right before it all broke down into campfire musings about just what Star Wars Galaxies could have been, someone mentioned Player versus Player.

Read more of Adam Tingle's Modern PvP Sucks & Here's Why.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • NaeviusNaevius Houston, TXPosts: 334Member Uncommon

    PvP does indeed break immersion, but in a good way. It yanks you out of your comfort zone and tests whether you have actually learned the mechanics of the game you are playing.

    PvE is not really a game, just an activity.

    (Note: I'm not talking about ganking idiocy, but reasonable contests.)

  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    I agree with a lot of the article.

    The ONE significant thing that separates the MMORPG from other games is the persistent world filled with a potentially large virtual society.

    Modern themepark MMOs tear that world apart, and make it a collection of meaningless "games within a game".  Immersion-killing?  Absolutely.  It runs counter to the most basic concept of the MMORPG, yet here we are.

    I understand completely what Adam is saying when he says current MMOs are overly "gamey".  The virtual world is gone, the RPG replaced with an arcade game.

    Spot-freakin'-on!

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • ZooceZooce B, FLPosts: 586Member
    Was an enjoyable read.
  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    I would simply say pvp is just not your cup of tea. I happen to love it, but if you don't that's just fine with me as well. I don't believe its as simple as you proclaim it to be though, I have to think many would agree. On the flip side, you could argue pvp is the true dynamic of gameplay whereas pve is the simpler concept.
  • ZinzanZinzan NorthPosts: 1,351Member

    Modern pvp sucks, no question about it, im in full agreement with you but only in regards to the lack of decent open world pvp, instance pvp just gets better. SWG and DAoC got it right, but not all open world works, Darkfall is a prime example of how to do open world pvp badly.

    GW2 is a shining light for many, their instanced pvp looks excellent and their take on 3-faction pvp is really well done...but the lack of open world for me really puts a dampener on the whole thing. Once again were playing a lobby game with an mmorpg tag waiting for instances and/or groups.

    Taking pvp out of the gaming world and slaming it into instances has been the single worst trend for me in mmorpg's in the last 10 years. However, i realise that most mmorpg gamers simply don't want open world pvp, it's as simple as that. The vast majority of open world pvp games have either shut down or are bumbling along with little more than a few thousand players tops. It's no wonder gaming companies have abandoned the idea....it's just not popular.

    GW2 will be great, no doubt in my mind, but it'll never properly scratch the pvp itch for me personally.

    Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    I never PvP because of the gear it requires... I feel like I'm grinding for gear when PvPing, earning some currency with kills to buy better gear... It's like dungeons accept the mobs are players playing toons.

    Smile

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon
    Modern PvP sucks because...it's modern PvP. Nearly impossible to balance and people can't decide whether that's a good or a bad thing, and the increase in people interested in MMOs has also lead to an increase in sore losers and general asshat-ery. Even in GW2, I'll be avoiding it until I literally have nothing else to do. That will be a LONG time.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • ZinzanZinzan NorthPosts: 1,351Member
    Sorry, forgot to say, great article, a rare gem :)

    Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  • RudedawgCDNRudedawgCDN Vancouver, BCPosts: 485Member

    I for one am sick of pve games - in a word boring.

    I am also sick of pve games with instanced pvp. Repetitive hamster in a wheel pvp.

    Still waiting for the next "Shadowbane"

  • ZuvielifyZuvielify Fremont, CAPosts: 168Member

    PvP is the root of every problem in modern MMOGs. Yes I said it!

    Here's why: Developers are forced to dumb down classes, to limit the coolness of abilities, and limit the power of abilities, all in the name of PvP. 

    Ever since pandering to the Call of Duty masses with PvP became the norm, classes have become less interesting, CC abilities became progressively weaker, and almost any really interesting abilities have gone away. 

    EQ2 had some really awesome classes. Vanguard had really awesome classes. Guess what, no PvP (at least not originally). EQ2's solution to the problem was to just make abilities behave differently in PvP vs PvE, which is something I could get behind. Most other developers don't do that. 

     
    Edit: I want to add after reading other comments that PvE is only the "simpler concept" because developers have completely neutered player abilities so that no class is overpowered in any one area. PvE used to be very complex.
    GW2 is no better. I'll play it, but every class is essentially the same. 
  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zinzan

    Modern pvp sucks, no question about it, im in full agreement with you but only in regards to the lack of decent open world pvp, instance pvp just gets better. SWG and DAoC got it right, but not all open world works, Darkfall is a prime example of how to do open world pvp badly.

    GW2 is a shining light for many, their instanced pvp looks excellent and their take on 3-faction pvp is really well done...but the lack of open world for me really puts a dampener on the whole thing. Once again were playing a lobby game with an mmorpg tag waiting for instances and/or groups.

    Taking pvp out of the gaming world and slaming it into instances has been the single worst trend for me in mmorpg's in the last 10 years. However, i realise that most mmorpg gamers simply don't want open world pvp, it's as simple as that. The vast majority of open world pvp games have either shut down or are bumbling along with little more than a few thousand players tops. It's no wonder gaming companies have abandoned the idea....it's just not popular.

    GW2 will be great, no doubt in my mind, but it'll never properly scratch the pvp itch for me personally.

     

    GW2's PvP is the same meaningless instanced garbage so many other games already have.  While the WvW appears interesting at first, it's not open-world, not really persistent, and has no real significance to the gameworld.

    The MMO space is full of overly-instanced lobby-games masquerading as MMORPGs.  While I have enjoyed the odd themepark, it's never for long.  It's why I continue to play Mortal Online.  Love it or hate it, it's one of the few games that has the gameplay, and the focus on the virtual world, that I prefer.

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • NaeviusNaevius Houston, TXPosts: 334Member Uncommon

    STO illustrates why MMO's which ignore PvP become silly - power simply climbs exponentially, nothing is balanced between classes so some become far more desirable, etc.

    PvP keeps MMOs grounded.

    Also, if 'modern' PvP is bad, what was so great about 'old' PvP?

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon

    PvP as a mechanic is key to having an MMO with any degree of lasting appeal.   You won't be able to produce PvE content fast enough to keep up with players consumption of it.   Killing idiotic AI controlled robots monsters or gimmicky raid bosses gets old, get better gear to kill bigger monsters, this can be done in a single player RPG.  PvP allows players to create their own content and really test their characters strength against a thinking intelligent opponent.

    As far as it's implimentation, it does vary heavily on the game.  Standard theme park PvP with the mechanic added in as an afterthought always ends bad.   Build it from the ground up with PvP as a major staple and you'll be better off.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,451Member Uncommon

    Personally I love pvp but I also hate it.

    I want a pvp that is fluid and immediate. Tab targeting, for me is just a pain in the neck. I want to be able to spin on a dime, not cycle through the people in front of me, only to tab over my target all the while being attacked.

    That's why I love Tera's system. It's the first time I've been able to act and react in a pvp situation in a way that felt "right'.

    IF only there was more to the pvp system than the current system. I also LOVE sieges. Ever since Lineage 2.

    ganking for me is boring. I feel no incentive to do it and being attacked by a secret attacker who, if they get a few anonymous shots in is pretty lame as well.

  • theniffrigtheniffrig DublinPosts: 351Member

    I used to enjoy PVP battlegrounds in WoW. I'd be a casual when it comes to pvp, I'd save for the 2nd rate gear I could get without doing rateds or arenas. I did fine enough for myself, which is all that matters, but when I started meeting 1/2 or entire enemy team pre-mades when my own side was just a bunch of random players thrown together, the appeal of doing pvp died for me. I don't want to go make my own pre-mades or join a pre-made to combat this, I just want to sign up randomly and meet other players who signed up randomly on their own like I did. If the game doesn't cater to that for me, then I won't do the pvp side of it. 

    Players who make their pre-made teams only to have a walk over vs. a bunch or randoms and farm them for the entire game are essentially taking the easy road & don't really want to pvp, they just want to gank players who might aswell be level 1's compared to them. Eventually the fun in that runs thin, and usually the people they are ganking don't sign up for the pvp anymore and the pre-maders have ruined the pvp in their game for themselves. It's why those hardcore pvp games never see massive success, cause the small minority ruins it for everyone, including themselves.

  • ZinzanZinzan NorthPosts: 1,351Member
    Originally posted by Naevius

    STO illustrates why MMO's which ignore PvP become silly - power simply climbs exponentially, nothing is balanced between classes so some become far more desirable, etc.

    PvP keeps MMOs grounded.

    Also, if 'modern' PvP is bad, what was so great about 'old' PvP?

    STO isn't a great example, the game, well, it sucks the big one really.

    Im not sure modern pvp is bad as such, it's just different, "bad" and "good" are subjective. Modern open world pvp is limited to niche games now as the big games avoid it like the plague because it's simply not popular among mmorpg players, lower investment into developing this style of gaming. Modern instanced pvp is better than many "older" games instanced pvp, mainly because of the monetary investments that have been made to advance the sysyems. It's more fluid and dynamic thanks to better engines and being designed for higher spec computers, most older games are built on outdated engines and clunky mechanics from a bygone age of prosessors and graphics cards. Also many modern mmo's have learnt from the sins of their forbears, games like Warhammer did some things well, others not so well.

    Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  • WingedNazgulWingedNazgul Harrisburg, PAPosts: 8Member Uncommon
    My first MMO was Planetside.  I love PVP.  Always have.  Always will.
  • ZinzanZinzan NorthPosts: 1,351Member
    Originally posted by Paragus1

    PvP as a mechanic is key to having an MMO with any degree of lasting appeal.   You won't be able to produce PvE content fast enough to keep up with players consumption of it.   Killing idiotic AI controlled robots monsters or gimmicky raid bosses gets old, get better gear to kill bigger monsters, this can be done in a single player RPG.  PvP allows players to create their own content and really test their characters strength against a thinking intelligent opponent.

    As far as it's implimentation, it does vary heavily on the game.  Standard theme park PvP with the mechanic added in as an afterthought always ends bad.   Build it from the ground up with PvP as a major staple and you'll be better off.

    I agree with most of what you say, but games like Warhammer are shining examples of how building a game from the ground-up for pvp isn't necessarily going to guarantee success.

    The problem with pvp as the enduring endgame is fundimentally the VAST majority of mmorpg players don't like pvp or only pvp casually. DAoC does endgame pvp well, but only a few thousand players still play it, dulce bellum inexpertis.

    The "end-game" syndrome is always going to be a problem, the game which caters to the pvpers and produces enough great content to keep the pvers and explorers/achievers happy is going to make a mint. However this is easier said than done.

    Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  • AnubisanAnubisan Boulder, COPosts: 1,801Member

    I will agree that PvP in most modern MMOs does indeed suck, but not for the same reasons. I know I am in the minority, but I am of the old school philosophy that sees PvP as meaningless unless there are real consequences like full-loot attached. Games like UO, Darkfall and Mortal Online make me truly invested in my character because there is a real risk of loss if I die. It causes an adrenaline rush that I have not found in any other form of online gaming (other than perhaps games like League of Legends). The way modern MMOs have turned PvP into a meaningless mini-game are why most of them fail to hold my attention.

  • ForumPvPForumPvP KingstownPosts: 871Member

    Anarchy Online (old days) Tower Wars,PvP where I was able to destroy other players characters by destroying their towers and so much much more,kill their characters in the process while they were defending their precious towers ,planning those attacks,doing my role to make our mission a success.building my twinks to be able to do such things,what happened ,i cant never forget this from wow " Lets lose faster ,we get more honor that way"

     

    Let's internet

  • KuppaKuppa Boulder, COPosts: 3,292Member Uncommon

    Well Adam, I guess you know at this point your two problems with pvp. You definately overstated one of those problems. The fact that you are an immersion player. You wan't total immersion and to be honest most, if not all, modern pvp is in some way an immersion breaking experience for those hardcore immersion players.

     

    The other problem? that one you just hinted, but I could debate its probably your biggest problem: ".. plus the fact I'm absolutely awful at it..".

    Ya, I hate golf and I could write a huge article about why and how its not a sport and spout negative nonsense at it. The fact is, I suck at it.....

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  • shakermaker0shakermaker0 SheffieldPosts: 194Member
    Yeah, that was very much implied. Sometimes we like to vent at the stuff that makes us feel inferior, it was PvPs turn today! Male modelling tomorrow. 
  • SysFailSysFail LondonPosts: 375Member

    PvP has changed a lot over the years, mostly for the worse sadly, so you're correct in that it does suck, but there are still a few gems holding out against the tide of mass appeal.

    But for me if a game has tab targetting and the need to que for PvP i avoid like the plague. Its old technology and is really, really poor of developers to use a system that's over a decade old.

  • JakdstripperJakdstripper logan lake, BCPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    great post.

    personally i love and hate pvp. there simply isn't anything more challenging then fighting other humans, but at the same time there is nothing more frustrating.

    i cannot play a purely pve game, it just gets boring. NPC simply dont addapt and once you find the "key" to taking them donw you have to move onto something otherwise stuf gets boring fast.  

     

    pvp is the only aspect of mmos that is permanently unpredictable, everchanging, and therfore fresh, while at the same time not being impossible (Master level chess npc anyone?). There simply isn't anything quite as exciting and thrilling as other humans...... 

  • nuttobnuttob Plantation, FLPosts: 291Member
    Whenever I get in a group PVP it's find the guy everyone else is ganking and gank him.  Rinse and repeat...not much fun after awhile.  It's either that or being the gankee and dieing over and over again rinse and repeat...World PVP is the worst.  I'm just about to complete that quest and BAM ganked again, now you have to travel across half the zone to try again.
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