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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Have Battlegrounds Destroyed PvP?

Posted by MikeB Thursday March 17 2011 at 1:19PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Battlegrounds has destroyed MMORPG PvP" by depain. Depain asserts that the popularity of battlegrounds in MMOs have had a destructive effect on the quality of the MMO PvP experience. Below he lists his reasons why and polls the MMORPG.com community on their thoughts:

Battlegrounds: Instanced 5v5 or so objective based PvP, e.g., Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, Take the Hill, etc.

WHY DO PEOPLE ENJOY THIS?

#1. In BGs, there is NO element of surprise. Eveyrone is buffed up and expecting combat.

#2. In BGs, tactics are learned within a month. The scenario becomes a rinse/repeat cycle.

#3. In BGs, there are a limited number of maps. Everyone quickly learns every blade of grass, every hill, every tree, every typical hiding spot.

#4. In BGs, everything is redundant. Been there, done that... a thousand times.

Am I simply asking for World PvP? No. I'm asking for some creation depth - something outside the box. Battlegrounds/Arenas are so typical - so boring. It's seriously time for something new.

How do the rest of MMORPG.com community feel about BGs and PvP? Read below to find out!

Solestran prefers open-world PvP but sees a purpose for BGs as well:

At least battlegrounds help to alleviate lower levels being slaughtered by higher levels.  Unless you can get developers off thier lazy asses and produce a lower level buff system that actually makes them competitive with their higher level counterparts, you're going to see most people sticking with battlegrounds for a better fighting chance.

I prefer open world PvP when I do participate, but I'm sick to death of toons barely 5 levels higher than me doing twice the damage and taking half as much on top of having more advanced abilities.  If you think that kind of level difference should have that much of an advantage, then the developers need to stop thowing cannon fodder to you guys by allowing a 5 to 10 level spread in the area or instance to begin with.  You should be forced to fight against players who have the tools at least to fight back.

monstermmo feels that the introduction of BGs allows for players who are interested in PvP but not interested in being randomly ganked an avenue to get their PvP fix:

A lot of players like myself dont find any enjoyment of being ganked while questing. An actual battle sure but thats not what usually happens. Most of the time in open world pvp someone sneaks up on you and youre dead before you know it. That has nothing to do with "skill" its simply you battling a mob and someone coming from behind and finishing you off.

Battlegrounds put people together for actual team play pvp. Real battles, not the nonsense that most open world pvp is.

Im not against open world pvp and you can think of me as a carebear i really dont care, but battlegrounds have certainly not ruined pvp. Its more enticing to players that want to pvp but not be ganked.

demented669 agrees with depain on the destructive effect of battlegrounds on MMO PVP:

Battle grounds have made PVP into a hunt in a game farm there is no more thrill of the hunt or chase, it has givien the players a "even" fight they want so it's  a sport like foot ball or base ball or hockey, every one is packed into a small space to figtht it out and one side wins big fun for some.

just not fun for me and others that want to have VIRTUAL WORLDS to live in and not a theme park to spend time in.

Saying battlegrounds destroyed MMO PvP is kind of casting a pretty large net. In the end, battlegrounds are just another tool in the toolbox, and it really ends up being more about how it is implemented. For example, in Warhammer Online's equivalent of battlegrounds players could level up through PvP and the battlegrounds also co-existed with a fairly decent (depending on when you played WAR) open world PvP component. However, as the game went through many changes over its first few months there were points at which players completely ignored open world PvP (Public Quests and Quests too!) as Scenarios were the path of least resistance towards leveling, granting the most amount of XP and easiest Renown (PvP XP). 

The result of this was an eerily empty game world where everyone simply disappeared into their instanced scenarios all day and you'd never see a soul wandering about (bad!). Mythic responded by creating greater incentives to do world PvP and so eventually things balanced out and the two co-existed fairly peacefully.  The system isn't perfect now, but it's come a long way.

I personally loved Scenarios as I could pop out of character creation and immediately start leveling through PvP which was incredibly refreshing, and while I love open world PvP as much as the next guy, there is certainly a place for structured match-made PvP, it's all about how it's implemented.

What are your thoughts on the effect of BGs on MMO PVP?

Slapshot1188 writes:

Battlegrounds (call em whatever you want) are nothing more than instanced E-Sports.  They can be fun at times, but I agree that they have destroyed the whole concept of Openworld PvP.

 

I was amazed that "PvP" guilds from RIFT would be obsessing about the battlegrounds AND asking for arena combat.  I mean... yeah those are technically PvP as it's players competing against players, but most old school folks will recognize that it's quite different from OpenWorld PvP.

 

I want PvP with consequenses.  Not just me me personally, but for my realm.  I want to take keeps. I want to hunt down groups of enemy players in the forest.  I want to hit and run and lead them on a chase through the wilderness, trying to lose them as we cross the stream.

 

THAT is the PvP I am looking for.  Sadly battlegrounds HAVE replaced that... and to me playing a battleground where you have points for capturing a flag is no different from playing football.      Sure.. football can be fun but if I wanted to play a sporting game I would load up Madden.

Thu Mar 17 2011 1:52PM Report
Slapshot1188 writes:

THIS is what PvP has turned into:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG_6hRZNVfE&feature=channel_video_title

 

Just folks finding ways to get the most "points" with the least amount of "work".

Thu Mar 17 2011 2:12PM Report
Wraithone writes:

Well, given that I leveled to 60 on Death Wing, I've seen a lot of world PvP. Better known as ganking. ^^  Roaming packs of high level, epic geared gankers, killing lower levels, camping corpses and spawn points. Given that mentality, I can quite understand why people would object to BG's. Those in the BG's are buffed up and expecting to be attacked.  They aren't as likely to be set upon unaware.  So in that regard, I'd say that yes, BG's have seriously impacted MMO PvP. ^^

Thu Mar 17 2011 4:48PM Report
Guintu writes:

I've played many open world PvP games and have gotten ganked as a low level.  It does suck.  These people are like bullies in a school beating up the smaller kids because they can.  I'd be ok with open world PvP if you can turn it off.  I mean if you're a low level you have the button that says you don't want to deal with PvP and a high level can come up to you and try and gank you and they'll just swing and not kill you.  Then when you're a high enough level you can turn on the PvP and  battle (maybe even writing down the names of the people who tried to gank you and if they're not to high of a level killing them :P).

Battlegrounds are fine because  it lets people of even levels fight.  I'm not saying there shouldn't be open PvP, but saying that you should have a choice.

Thu Mar 17 2011 5:00PM Report
kilun writes:

Problem is having a questing game and a pvp game are with openworld are two different games.  Shadowbane for example was awesome with open world pvp.  Rift though, I prefer to do BGs.  Maybe higher up I'll prefer the limited open areas of contested zones though.

Take WAR for example, both were fun in the game, but really more often than not it was who had more zerg forces on a team.  If that is all openworld PVP is since its only two factions, really whats the point?  Multiple factions either DAOC or Shadowbane Lore server style are where open world PVP can shine(Never played darkfall so not sure about that one)  In these two faction games where levels make all the difference in the world, open world pvp is pointless in my opinion.

Thu Mar 17 2011 5:10PM Report
Mightfox writes:

Ambushing, being on the lookout in large areas, etc is nice and all, but I love "battlegrounds" because they mean I can quickly get into the main combat of the game that is actually interesting and challenging.

And no, getting ganked by higher levels is not interesting, nor is it challenging. Grinding on boring combat with braindead mobs is better than a roulette where a weaker guy dies without a chance.

THE REAL QUESTION IS NOT "HAVE BATTLEGROUNDS DESTROYED PVP" BUT "HOW CAN BATTLEGROUNDS AND WORLD PVP BE MADE BETTER?"

Thu Mar 17 2011 5:19PM Report
Jojin writes:

Open world PvP is much better, but it requires a reason for the conflict.  If a game were to implement dynamic and benefitial reasons to fight, such as conquest of the lands and resources then it has more appeal.  Otherwise, its just sensless e-peen flaunting to kill someone.

 

Battlegrounds seem to be the developer easy way out to appease the players.  They do give the PvP players ask for but only in a minimal sense.  

Thu Mar 17 2011 5:57PM Report
Ziboo writes:

I like Battlegrounds/Scenarios/Warfronts even though it is instances PvP, a type of mini-game, at least the playing field is fairly level and it does come down to skill not being x# level's higher one-shotting lowbies.

True World PvP would be awesome, but all I've ever seen on PvP servers is the cowardly attack while you're engaged with mobs or a group of high level gankers.  

IMHO world PvP needs to have a 'reason' to fight and sadly most MMO's do not have that feel.  There is not REAL conflict in WoW or Warhammer. AoC had some, RIFT time will tell.  So, to go out and kill someone questing, I find boring.  Fighting to save our town/city/resources - sign me up!

Thu Mar 17 2011 6:15PM Report
BadSpock writes:

The best PvP system of all time was in Ultima Online during the Factions PvP cycle.

By this point, the world had already been split between Trammel and Felucca so PvP was 100% optional.

Because there were no levels or gear, you almost always had a fighting chance to defend yourself.

It was 100% open world and actually had a meaningful and fun territorial capture/control system. You're faction was competing for dominance over controlling the various cities in the game.

It also had more then two factions so balance was never completely lop-sided.

 

The real problem is now adays PvP is completely black and white - it's either open world / FFA gankfest or instanced FPS matches, with NO ONE thinking outside the box to give meaningful open world PvP that is not a gank fest and is not forced FFA or any other such crap.

All MMOs, even the quote "sandbox" ones are just huge grind fests be it levels or skills etc. 

It's our own fault too, if you even talk about removing linear progression (grind) and actually making a true sandbox game again that would support real open world PvP... the forumites run you out of town with pitchforks. 

Thu Mar 17 2011 6:59PM Report
Vorruga writes:

I don't mind battlegrounds, necessarily, but I think that they should be used in the way that they were in DAoC: small, persistent, separate zones, with a level limit.  Put some objectives in there (in DAoC, each of the battlegrounds had a keep in the middle to fight over), and let the players have fun.

If you insist on short, instanced matches, then I think that an interesting way to do that would be to make the maps themselves be randomly generated.

Thu Mar 17 2011 11:44PM Report
Sandrock1987 writes:

I believe DAoC's open-world persistent PvP frontiers offers the way forward for MMOs today. I wrote a little bit on how it could be incorperated into SWTOR here:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B6yVSWc88SIHZjQ5N2UzZDItODJiNS00ZWE4LWJmODMtOGRhZjUwNTI3NmIx&hl=en

In this system battlegrounds are still present too.

 

Basically, I believe battlegrounds should be a side-game, a mini-game, a thing you do when you don't have a lot of time to spend and just want some quick fun, in and out again. Rewards should match this, you should only gain small rewards from battlegrounds but not something that makes it the main attraction. I also believe persistent Battlegrounds like in DAoC are better. Battlegrounds would and should be comparable to 5-man heroic dungeons at max level in WoW. 

Open-world pvp would then be comparable to raiding, the end-game content of the game. This is where the main shinies are to be gotten and where you would go for your actual pvp dose. Open-world pvp is on a greater scale, requires greater coordination, dedication and teamwork. Hence why the rewards would be to match this. It's a much more intrigued system that allows for great variation in gameplay. Rather than grinding. 

However open-world pvp has to make sure it allows place for casuals or non-dedicated PvPers as well. To sustain a good population of world pvpers and to make sure the content made is consumed by as many customers as possible. open world PvP does not have to exclude the casual player. This is what the role of the Zerg is. Even if you have no organized team to play in, you can just get a random invite and join the zerg. The zerg is never an efficient or well organised machine. But it serves it's purpose and is still effective. 

The more dedicated PvPers would work in organized guild groups and employ tactics and teamwork to coordinate their attacks and change the tide of battles. They can weaken defenses and strengthen the offense. Look at Planetside for a great example of how this is done. Organized teams can do a swift strike on an enemy base and take our their generator or spawn tubes. Which means the zerg can push in and clear the base out. 

Now I will copy/paste some bits and pieces from the document I linked:

What a PvP system should try to achieve:

The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment  in which it is not solely the individual's  another player that is the focus but where the focus is on the teamwork of the entire community. Where tactical and strategic gameplay is not only preferred but stimulated and even demanded. Through teamwork and the effort of the entire faction/community should objectives be obtained,leaving room for the performances of alliances and guilds within that structure, as well as small groups or even individuals to still have their own contribution to the whole. But as the saying goes "The whole is better than the sum of it's parts". Through this we believe it will not offer just a great immersive Open World pvp experience but also bring the community closer together on the entire server. We believe this to coincide with the vision of BioWare in other aspects of the game.

Read the entire document here:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B6yVSWc88SIHZjQ5N2UzZDItODJiNS00ZWE4LWJmODMtOGRhZjUwNTI3NmIx&hl=en

 

- Raul / Sandrock

preferred but stimulated and even demanded.
on the teamwork of the entire community
performance or the individual's ability to kill

 

The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment in which it is not solely the individual's
performance or the individual's ability to kill another player that is the focus but where the focus is
on the teamwork of the entire community. Where tactical and strategic gameplay is not only
preferred but stimulated and even de
The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment in which it is not solely the individual's
performance or the individual's ability to kill another player that is the focus but where the focus is
on the teamwork of the entire community.

 

The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment in which it is not solely the individual's
performance or the individual's ability to kill another player that is the focus but where the focus is
on the teamwork of the entire community. Where tactical and strategic gameplay is not only
preferred but stimulated and even demanded.
Through teamwork and the effort of the entire faction/community should objectives be obtained,
leaving room for the performances of alliances and guilds within that structure, as well as small
groups or even individuals to still have their own contribution to the whole. But as the saying goes
"The whole is better than the sum of it's parts". Through this we believe it will not offer just a great
immersive Open World pvp experience but also bring the community closer together on the entire
server. We believe this to coincide with the vision of BioWare in other aspects of the game.

 

The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment in which it is not solely the individual's
performance or the individual's ability to kill another player that is the focus but where the focus is
on the teamwork of the entire community. Where tactical and strategic gameplay is not only
preferred but stimulated and even demanded.
Through teamwork and the effort of the entire faction/community should objectives be obtained,
leaving room for the performances of alliances and guilds within that structure, as well as small
groups or even individuals to still have their own contribution to the whole. But as the saying goes
"The whole is better than the sum of it's parts". Through this we believe it will not offer just a great
immersive Open World pvp experience but also bring the community closer together on the entire
server. We believe this to coincide with the vision of BioWare in other aspects of the game.
The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment in which it is not solely the individual's
performance or the individual's ability to kill another player that is the focus but where the focus is
on the teamwork of the entire community. Where tactical and strategic gameplay is not only
preferred but stimulated and even demanded.
Through teamwork and the effort of the entire faction/community should objectives be obtained,
leaving room for the performances of alliances and guilds within that structure, as well as small
groups or even individuals to still have their own contribution to the whole. But as the saying goes
"The whole is better than the sum of it's parts". Through this we believe it will not offer just a great
immersive Open World pvp experience but also bring the community closer together on the entire
server. We believe this to coincide with the vision of BioWare in other aspects of the game.

 

The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment in which it is not solely the individual's
performance or the individual's ability to kill another player that is the focus but where the focus is
on the teamwork of the entire community. Where tactical and strategic gameplay is not only
preferred but stimulated and even demanded.
Through teamwork and the effort of the entire faction/community should objectives be obtained,
leaving room for the performances of alliances and guilds within that structure, as well as small
groups or even individuals to still have their own contribution to the whole. But as the saying goes
"The whole is better than the sum of it's parts". Through this we believe it will not offer just a great
immersive Open World pvp experience but also bring the community closer together on the entire
server. We believe this to coincide with the vision of BioWare in other aspects of the game.

 

The goal is to promote and create a PvP environment in which it is not solely the individual's
performance or the individual's ability to kill another player that is the focus but where the focus is
on the teamwork of the entire community. Where tactical and strategic gameplay is not only
preferred but stimulated and even demanded.
Through teamwork and the effort of the entire faction/community should objectives be obtained,
leaving room for the performances of alliances and guilds within that structure, as well as small
groups or even individuals to still have their own contribution to the whole. But as the saying goes
"The whole is better than the sum of it's parts". Through this we believe it will not offer just a great
immersive Open World pvp experience but also bring the community closer together on the entire
server. We believe this to coincide with the vision of BioWare in other aspects of the game.
Fri Mar 18 2011 6:22AM Report
Athcear writes:

I like bg style stuff because I like having something to fight over.  Simply killing someone because they're there, and because you have a level or class advantage over them...  That's dull.  Fighting over resources or territory, that's interesting and fun.  I don't really care if it's instanced or open, but I need something in contention.

Fri Mar 18 2011 10:20AM Report
Murashu writes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG_6hRZNVfE&feature=channel_video_title

 

That video is exactly why I dislike BGs. They have turned into nothing more than farming grounds for AFK macroers. They could very easily fix this by not rewarding players for losing. No other game mechanic, that I know of, rewards a group of players for losing so I'm not sure why it is necessary for the instanced PvPers.

Fri Mar 18 2011 11:16AM Report
Golelorn writes:

I love BGs.

If one has ever played sports BGs are the same concept.

In basketball(any sport really) you practice and you play lots of games. No one game is the same, althoug in theory, the objective is quite simple; score more points than the other team.

To simplify BGs like some of the posters have done is simply small-minded.

Some people claim its "destroyed open world pvp". If open world pvp was so fun, then people would play it instead. Not to mention a lot of games that offer BGs have little to no open world pvp.

Sat Mar 19 2011 5:23PM Report
Evasia writes:

Well i play Darkfall so i say those games are not realy PvP games but if i look at WoW first you have world PvP hundreds standing in tarrenmill waiting for alliance or horde to attack. Plenty of world PvP around, then people start whining and BGs was born. World PvP died. As i read now that most are sitting in orgrimmar or stormwind waiting for a match to begin and never even step out into world that SAYS ENOUGH hehe.

So YES it not only destroyed real world PvP it seems also slowly destroying the whole game concept of going into world actualy playing the damn game lol.

Sun Mar 20 2011 4:30AM Report
skyray-us writes:

I really love the new way battlegrounds work in WoW.  Though I've always liked the idea of an unpredictable, open world environment like those in PvP based worlds, I've never enjoyed actually playing in them because of the Gankers and corpse campers.  In WoW, when I first tried BG'g I coildn't last long enough to learn enough to become competant, much less competitive. Now, with only 5 levels defining the difference between opponents, I'm having a great time.

Some of the other contributors have made good observations and suggestions. I'd love to try a game where winning or losing a battle might win or lose you a town or city for your faction on a server.  The idea of RANDOM areas to fight in for BG's also interests me as a way for many to learn without having to cost a server's faction territory.  As for open world PvP, I might be able to deal with that if there were some penalties for the ganksters and campers.  Say, an actual force consisting of players and/or NPC's that would be summonsed to hunt down and kill/jail packs of predators that gank weaker players. It would make it more dangerous and challenging for the gankers and give the newbies a way to 'redress' certain imbalances.  It would be fun for some players to want to join up with a pack of bandits while others would join the constabulary to prevent such bandits from having a free hand. 

If you did something like that, you'd NEED practice type BG's that were competitive enought to force players to learn PvP'ing in fixed and predictable environments before they actually went back to a full PvP world to either pillage or enforce.

Sun Mar 20 2011 12:02PM Report
MMartian writes:

I feel that they do provide a far greater access to PvP than open world PvP does.

As has been mentioned, many and probably most MMORPG players are not interested in PvP or even worse being ganked in PvP at all times. Most people want to be able to Quest, gather, craft or socialize at times and PvP at others.

Battlegrounds give people a PvP environment where they can go to PvP when they want to while keeping away from PvP when they do not want to.

My experience is that they have actually caused more people to try PvP and to learn that they enjoy it. Most are not interested in full time always at risk PvP.

Sun Mar 20 2011 1:26PM Report
kjempff writes:

Problem with open world pvp or free pvp (read Gankers), is that if the world is only full of Gankers, there are no one to gank. Gankers feed of the weak, and therefore they want games with normal players and free pvp. Then there are the few who actually wants the challange of fighting against another person instead of AI.

For me Battlegrounds is one of the few ways I can enjoy pvp for a little while, and when I want. You won't find me in any game that has free pvp.

Thu May 12 2011 7:37PM Report

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