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The problem with modern PvP is that it lacks purpose. It turned into an esport. It usualy has no connection to the rest of the game (different rules, isolated instances etc.) and it does not influence the rest of the game in any way.
There are some notable exceptions (EVE Online) but those are generaly niche games.
Simply put, if you take most current MMOs and strip the PvP implementation into a seperate game where you equip a character with anything you want and go play, you will not miss anything.
Fantastic article, exactly how I feel, right down to feeling useless in PvP matches. There is only one game coming forth that I have EVER enjoyed PvP in, and the rest of them I dropped either immediately, or very shortly thereafter because I just grew tired of the PvP trash-talking BS, twitchers ganking me because of insane hand-eye coordination with a keyboard and mouse, or joystick, etc. I can't give you the name of that game because I'm under NDA, but it involves big stompy robots from a game I've loved since early '85.
Absolutely excellent article, and I know many of the PvP'ers will not have the brain power or common respect to understand how we PvE'ers feel, and thus leave us the hell alone, but the rest of you PvP-preference folks, if you don't understand it already, suck up this article into that gray matter and go about your business with other PvP players.
To me the PvP lost its meaning with the evolution of the mmo in the post WoW world - I could probably ramble on for hours, but I will simply list the things that basically changed the game as we know it:
2. esports-level fixation on `build perfection` and theorycrafting.
3. gear centrism that resulted from #2
4. instant gratification based, mobile player culture(in the sense that disloyal to a game and its community, moving on to the garden with the greener grass)
The feeling of community, the sense of realm pride, the competitiveness not based on a ladder but on the renown (in the actual meaning of the word, not some stat in a game) among the server population have all been slowly replaced by the investor-board-room originated choices of the developers who increasingly tried to lure the FPS players into the market.
Gone are the days of Shadowbane, where a significant portion of PvP was actually taking place in the diplomacy and politics of a server, in alliances and wars and ambassadors craft. Days when the foolish act of a careless guild member would provoke wars among groups of hundreds, which would result in 3 days long (72 hours of real life sieging) razing of capital cities and wiping from the map of guilds..
Gone are the days of DaoC, where your enemy was not named "blue invader" or "red enemy" but an actual name (/salute to Wootles of Albion and Aneuryzm of MIdgard, names that still give a chill in the hibby spine of mine) that you get to know, hate, fear over time. Days where your actions at the frontier mattered, that if you were 10 minutes late to getting that relic keep, a significant bonus that affected your whole realm (including the pver) would be gone.
Now it is all about that gear score, about that %1 more crit. About that tourney that you won, which will pit you against a stronger enemy in an instanced 20 minute fight (like a fifa 12 game on an xbox..)
It is simply too late to go back to those days. We just try to make of what we have (gw2) and hope that the pendulum of time will once again swing towards our direction, where instant gratification centric, gear based instanced mmo's will be a thing of past..
"Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one ..." - Thomas Paine
I realy like that article. I have 100% the same impression and feeling.
But since there are obviously too many casual gamers outside it need to be that way. Every game with real PvP (DF, FE etc) failed because of the lack of a player base.
Mosst ppl like to spam a single (ok sometimes a few) buttons to win.
But hey i got a example for propper PvP from yesterday...created a new character in Neocron2 - Dome of York - went to the first cave to level up my skillZ and BOOM got insta killed by another player. The thrill of real open world PvP still exist in some old games.
On the flipside i realy loved the story of my first character in SW:TOR but PvP...go away with that.
PvP feels like a seperate "game" because it has been done so badly up to now. It is not incorporated into gameplay, it is overlayed, or worse, just "accomodated". "Here we'll stick it in an instance and maybe no one except those PvP rabblerousers will notice." I am really looking forward to GW2 but they are doing the same thing, sticking all the PvP in instances where it's out of sight, out of mind, if you don't participate. It's detached from, and has no impact on, the rest of the world and feels like a totally different experience than the rest of the game.
You can't stick PvP in an instance, you can't confine it to certain, specific, unreachable areas of the world, and there has to be some benefit, aside from gear, for participation. And at least some support from the whole population. The closest anyone has come so far has been the periodic events they used to have in WAR. Did you ever notice that even people who didn't like "PvP" were there fighting right next to the rest of us who did? I think next to the thrill of the kill, the completion of the quest has become a powerful motivator. I think there are far too many quests in the majority of the MMO's out right now and you could really make them more meaningful and sought after if they were less frequent, and made more exciting by incorporating some PvP elements.
The other problem with PvP not being incorporated into the world is that one never feels as though they have made a difference after partcipating in PvP. Player versus Player should be about conquest, honor, pride, and reward. It may contain some PvE objectives but it must impact the world that the players live in. Make PvP matter in terms of higher prices, weaker skills in PvE, or more resources, better loot, or new discoveries/recipes/whatever, things that MATTER to the entire population the whole time they are logged in and not just when they are in an instance.
When there is a true PvP-centric game developed, from the ground up, so that the conflict matters, PvP will be the most incredible experience ever seen in an MMO. But no one has done that with a current generation MMO. It's all about chasing WoW and releasing more formulaic MMO's one right after the other, with nothing to differentiate from the other 29 MMO's that came out last year that all do the same thing.
MMO PvP is crippled due to a simple truth of how many games are structured:
Gear and stats and slavery to The Grind.
When Gear and Stats are the primary factors gating admitance to, and participation in, PvP, the game basically establishes an unavoidable redirect to The Grind as a result.
Push the slider too far in that direction, which many MMOs do, and you've taken the P)layer in PvP away to too high a degree. It's not about PvP anymore, it's about who's spent the most stupid-time dumb grinding (in many instances in PvE activity, lolololol - lulz) activity.
The sad thing is, a great many "hard core" PvPrs actually fall into two categories:
1) The biggest carebears in the game . . . surpassing those who chose at the outset to play on PvE servers.
2) Players NOT interested in freedom to PvP, but rather the greatest proponents of keeping it restricted.
I found my recent foray into Guild Wars refreshing. I had heard GW was far less gear based than other MMOs, and to my pleasure that was in fact the case. While it's predominantly Skill based (meaning game-provided attack skill on your hotbar) as opposed to Gear grinding, and I did run into some "unkillable" foes in GW battlegrounds, it was the frequency, degree, prevalency that told the tale:
I was in the fight, I was dangerous, I was killing people. I didn't see rampant one shotting. This from a newb to the game just popping into a BG to take a look see.
Overall, the flavor and feel of PvP was far more fun than many other MMOs, because the "high spots" in overpowerment were much shallower. The sine-wave, for lack of a better way to put it, didn't have huge spikes in it between players. It was there to some degree mind you, particularly as I was a new player to the game, but it just didn't exist in the dumb-arsed way it does in other games that are careless with valuation of player-time logged in.
In my opinion most people, even those who today who say they "hate" PvP, would actually like it a whole lot more, even if they lost a lot . . . if they felt they were at least in the fight. It's when a game takes people OUT of fights due to levels and/or gear stat-packing, that it just . . . gets . . . stupid.
PvP is some really great stuff. The problem is that many people, including some dev houses, don't understand what the acronym stands for: Player versus Player.
Wherever you go, there you are.
My problem with PVP is that everyone is just out for themselves. You see very little cooperation. I'm hoping GW2 addresses this issue.
I hate it when devs start nerfing skills because of pvp. Hate it. Keep pve skills and pvp skill entirely separate.
I pvp only to get the rewards. I don't take it seriously, really.
Eve online has pvp about right
a: you have investment in the ship you are fighting in
b: you dont need to be uber skilled or rich to take part in either small or large scale pvp
c: its pvp isnt particulary twitch based
d: pvp can have meaningful consequences for both sides
its only real down side is that it can devolve into the biggest blob wins (not always) but there is a critical mass that carnt easily be beaten. Luckily for the game those power blocks eventally change
Also modern pvp lacks consequence, its just too easy beeing a ganking prick.
No "player police" to hunt you down and put you to "jail" for 2 real days if you go around acting like a punk. No chance of loosing your gear or other type of consequence, that would make pvp honorable because it is risky to fight other players. You can stab a human in the back in a human town right infront of a guard, and nothing happens.
This is what invites players to become ganking pricks, instead of pvp lovers who like the extra dimension that pvp can give a world. This is what seperate the good pvp (in mostly older games), from the pvp that only ruins the rest of the game.
Oh.. hail to the Metal Kings!
"I am my connectome" https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HA7GwKXfJB0
I hate those games that make you pay hundreds of real world dollars, just so you can go and gank some one who does not have the money to buy the gear to be an equal in battle!
If you want to kill someone in 2 seconds flat, got play a fps, oh, sorry, if you did that you would be the ones dying, can't have that can we!
The only place pvp should be allowed is on an even playing field, but unfortunately, the gankers can't handle an even match, that's why they go hunting noobs!
Have I said how much I hate GANKING!!!
Interesting discussion, but, it seems EVERYONE has been missing a few simple main points.
1. It is a game after all. If it has turned for you into more than that, you probably won't fit in with 95% of the population.
2. How much time does 95% of the population really want to devote to MMO(RP)G games or, really, how much time do individuals have to spend on gaming? - not all that much. Hence, the mostly casual gamer drives the economics behind gaming and game design.
3. Like with any person, your learning curve in anything, including gaming, will only significantly improve if you spend time learning an activity. Depending on how you spend your time, your curve increases more steeply (for the involved 5%) or less, to much less. so for people who manage their time differently.
4. A person (the 95%) is probably more motivated by wanting to experience a game as an epic and artistically beautiful adventure (a diversion, I love Skyrim for that reason (on X-box)) and they are not interested in a constant war-like situation, especially since they are not motivated to bring their learning curve up quickly and steeply (not that they couldn't if they wanted to.)
5. If I am the CEO of a game design company, who am I primarily going to design my game for? I think the answer is clear.
Concerning the current state of PvP play, try kicking a chicken roaming around the wilderness in Skyrim, and the chicken will screech and take off. Go to a farm in Skyrim and kick the farmer's chicken, you won't survive because the (soldier) guards will take you down immediately because you are trespassing and demolishing the farmer's property. Get a reputation like that and eventually you will not be able to show your face anywhere in Skyrim and guards will attack you on sight. I think this is a good system that should be implemented quickly to weed out the nasties inhabiting the PvP MMOG world. (Wish we had this system in the real world too :-).)
Modern PvP sucks because a) its hard, and modern MMOs can't stomach difficulty
and b) Modern MMOs are all WoW clones, and you cannot have good PvP in a PvE game like WoW.
Sad thing when they keep copying WoW... PVP is a mess if you have to spec and glyph a specific class for it, because your PVE class is weak in PVP for no apparent reason, other than the fact that Blizzard can't balance every spec ><.
Heh, so you get people that can play PVE and PvP because they are class a and spec a, but class a and spec b is penalized and can only PVE or only PVP...