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I was in a discussion in another thread about open world PvP. As always, I am reminded how many of you have only been gaming since WoW. I know a lot of people don't like world PvP, but there's really no programming reason why we can't have the best of both worlds. In fact it's already been done in some games of the past.
I'm talking about an opt-in / flagging system for world PvP. It's actually painfully simple in concept and it drives me insane trying to understand why something like this is not used these days. Devs make all kinds of excuses up for lack of PvP, but their main excuse is that most players don't want to PvP. I think it's just lazy development or lack of imagination in a lot of cases. Star Wars Galaxies had what I consider a pretty much best of both worlds system.
In SWG you had a simple command to toggle yourself "on leave" or "active duty". On leave meant you were completely PvE, and no one could touch you anywhere. The exception to that was if you flagged yourself through attacking a faction NPC spawn (such as an imperial or rebel camp spawn), or in some versions of the game, if you pulled your light saber in public. Even then you could toggle on leave, and wait for the timer. This prevented griefing and other problems. Active duty is what it sounds like. You are flagged for World PvP, and can be engaged at any time by the enemy faction.
In practice, I loved this system. If there was a PvP fight going on in the city, I was free to join in, or go about my business. People who wanted to completely stay out of the fights could do so. I could join a battle in the war, or do other things.
When I look at struggling new games like The Secret World, where there are three factions that are supposedly "best buds" all of the sudden because they have to fight evil together, I just shake my head. This was the excuse Funcom gave for no faction v faction world PvP. I find it hard to believe that these factions which have been fighting each other for hundreds of years, just suddenly became brother and sisters in peace. Besides, there were quite a few people who wanted world PvP in the game, and it would add a whole new dimension to TSW that may attract new players. I know I would go back for it if done right.
That's just an example though, and the point is that you can have logic built into PvP so that those who are not interested could stay out of it. Even as PvE player, I would find it both fun and interesting to see other people battling it out in the streets. It would make these often dead and dry worlds feel much more alive and it would attract a wider player base.
A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.