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There are many PvP games out and some have been out for a long time. But for some reason I can't find myself getting into modern PvP. I actually worry that modern PvP is too ordered. I don't think it is the games fault so much as the players evolving. The fact that voice chat is almost required in groups now to have an even chance of victory is a sign to me that players have almost too much control, and that the control is perhaps too valuable. MJ chaos post got me thinking a bit that chaos is good and this post is the result of that brain stew.
To me PvP has seemed to evolved into small group vs group CC/focus burst target PvP. And to me the result feels almost predetermined, and thus not very engaging. I find myself PvPing for points or ranking instead of for the fun of it. That is, I want to get my points as efficiently as possible. AKA I am finding myself wanting to play as little as possible. But why?
After thinking about I think it may be because:
Pretty much the entire goal of modern PvP has become "kill your opponent BEFORE they can react/play." Which to me sort of defeats the purpose of playing against other people, and isn't much fun when you are on the losing side.
I think two main things have changed in the last 10 years. First is the acceptance/availability of voice chat, it has made preforming optimal reactions as a team much more possible; From having a couple snipers fire on a target at the same time in planetside, to quickly identifying CC/interrupt targets/ in MMOs. This could always be done in the past via messaging, /assisting, pings, or being on the phone with your buddy, but it is easier and more efficient/common today. That is to say players are acting in a more ordered manner.
The Second issue I think is information on games being so much more available now. Certain builds/skills/guns/equipment are just better, and that knowledge is easily shared now and other players can often easily see what you are using and often let you know if you have a crap build/layout. Once again, less randomness and more order, and the cause once again being the players.
When I go back to think of my best PvP experience not a single one involved me having my headphones on, or damage meters running. Headphones/optimal setup = higher rank (which makes you feel good), but my most enjoyable battles have been some of the most unorganized matches I have played.
Some examples of My favorite PvP:
DAOC after Zerg vs Zerg when it ended up with just the wounded leftovers of each side. Something like 3 random hibs vs 5 random mids, everyone nearly out of mana/endurance, fighting by the skin or their teeth - victory could go to either side. If you made it to that point, it was a rush whether you won or lost.
Some of the best PvP I ever played has been open beta weekends (Guild Wars, Warhammer, etc) in which it is pretty much PST for invite. Pretty much no one knows what they were doing, and it makes the PvP deviously chaotic PvP.
Besides the above examples in general I enjoy 1v1 duels in FPS, RPG, or even a card game like Magic: The gathering.
The end point being I think chaos may be what is missing from modern PvP and why it may seem “less fun” to some folk. If variety is the spice of life, Chaos/RNG may be the spice of PvP. All that said I do agree chaos and RNG doesn't mix well with competitive PvP. I personally wouldn’t consider a RvRvR game as something likely to become an esport though…
As such, I for one an interested in the idea of critical successful and failures in a PvP game. I think it would be interesting if they could be tied to something the player control, such as health or an energy pool. Basic stuff like lower HP and crit success increases for some classes, low endurence or high fatigue and there is a good change you may trip up. Risk vs Reward. I would totally look foward to hearing folk screem in voice about why they didn't get help and then hear "sorry I tripped ." I never thought of it before, but now I believe there is a severe lack of occasionally falling on your arse in video games.