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In my ongoing quest to get into the minds of the open world pvp player, a recurring thought keeps coming into my head.
It seems many times when I am in a discussion about why open PvP games never seem to do well, the inevitable poster will always step up and cite EVE as an example of open FFA PvP that has succeeded. And I have to agree it has. But why EVE and so damn few others?
Well it seems the obvious answer is that there is some fundamental difference between EVE, and other open PvP games. And it seems to me like I have simply been ignoring the obvious.
In most of the suggested PvP models that players have been asking for, you are playing as a character. A single individual in a virtual world. When you PvP, your character goes out in the world and puts it all on the line. And depending on the penalties, death can be pretty severe. And this can be frustrating when you are trying to progress, but continue to simply hit a wall of death. When you have one character, and you are constantly dying, it gets rather pointless quickly.
Now the difference with EVE is that even though you are PvP'ing, you are not really risking your character. Essentially your character is not an individual but a conglomeration of what you have created. If you lose a ship, that might be one of ten or a hundred that you have. It is like going to battle and losing a finger, or getting a scar. Yes, you came out of that encounter on the bad end, but you are only scratched, not defeated.
Anyway, my point to all of this is why not make other games work similarly? Instead of just being an army of one, why should you not be able to say have multiple types of characters? Miners, scavengers, offensive players, defensive players, crafting players? You chose the player you wish to play at the time, depending on the situation. Make it like maintaining an army. If one character dies you must replace them through economic means. Same as EVE. You lose a ship, you buy a new one. I think this form of PvP, which seems to be more of risk / reward situation would appeal to more people, because it gives you more options, rather than just sending your one and only avatar out to die against a higher skilled opponent.
In any case I think that is where EVE derives its success from. Simply using EVE as a PvP model that works, therefore all types of PvP can and should be successful is a flawed argument. It works because of its uniqueness. I can't think of any other PvP model that is similar to it. Why?
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