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

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

Community Spotlight: Your PvP Preferences

Posted by MikeB Friday April 1 2011 at 11:02AM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Do you prefer ffa-pvp everywhere, only consensual, or something in-between?" by mrcalhou. Mrcalhou wants to know your PvP preferences, but let's start with the man of the hour himself! Take it away, Mrcalhou!

I, personally, love Eve-online's pvp system. While it's technically ffa-pvp everywhere, the consequences in many systems makes random pvp happen extremely infrequently in those areas, while pvp is actually encouraged in other parts of the game map.

Lately, however, it seems that a lot of games are coming out where pvp is being forced on the playerbase from the moment they log-in. Now, this isn't necassarily wrong in and of itself, but with the knowledge that it drives away so many potential players, why do developers still do it? These games also never seem to get the consequences for pvp balanced in such a way that there are times when it would make sense, from a strategic perspective, to not attack someone.

While I don't mind consensual pvp, it does take away a good chunk of emergent-characteristics from MMOs and I'm pretty bored with those types of games since they seem to be a dime a dozen.

I'd like to see something in-between: like a game with twitch combat mechanics (though better than what Darkfall and Xsyon offer), but a pvp system where players can play the game and not feel worried about getting ganked all the time, while there would also be content and resources unique to pvp areas to encourage players to go play in those areas.

karat76 prefers the way DAOC did their PvP:

I prefer the DAoC set up. If I wanted to worry about being ganked all the time I would have kept my job at the state prison. FFA does not work mainly due to the casualties of puberty that will grief everyone that comes in. They maybe a minority of the FFA community but they are usually the first people encountered in those type of games. Playing UO and Shadowbane there was not a day that went by when people were not feeding on the newbies. If a gaming community is to survive you have to learn to cut off your own diseased parts.

Miner-2049er is convinced the EVE model works best:

Like many people here I think EVE pretty much has the ultimate model.

The game design should do everything possible to prevent bored people ganking newbies. At the same time the best stuff should be in full-on PvP areas to encourage people to go there.

I think CC is often overpowered. If you are clearly outgunned you should have some chance of actually getting away.  I also think that we should have some ant-ganking tools available, like smoke bombs, or suicide attacks that do high damage to all people in a small radius.

I also think that in any game a group of low level players should be able to work together with a chance of beating the high level attackers. 

Finally, although I like the idea of full loot I think that this should only be implemented in a game where the weight and size of items has an clear and significant effect on your movement and mobility. This would mostly limit you to taking a few items, and if you attacked someone lower level it really wouldn't be worth you while to loot anything.

Otakun isn't entirely convinced on overworld/FFA PvP:

It boils down to the point that FFA OWPvP fits a niche market or in a more common term it doesn't please casual gamers. People who like FFA OWPvP will still play a game without it as long as the PvP is good in general but casual gamers will not play a game with FFA OWPvP cause they will get frustrated and quit.

Personally my problem with FFA OWPvP is that people will generally kill you for no reason other then just to do it and possibly grief you and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it unless you happen to have friends online who care enough to help you. This basically says, "Well, you can play this game unless someone else wants to come around and ruin your day." cause other then sitting around and getting killed over and over your only option is to log off and that is a game that I wont pay for. I wouldn't mind a B2P MMO that has FFA OWPvP cause then I ain't losing money when not playing.

I generally enjoy the ability to hunt other players in PvP, but I don't necessarily need it to be FFA. Factional PvP works fine for me. However, I tend to play on PvP servers even if the game allows you to flag yourself due to the fact that I don't honestly believe that most players will flag themselves willingly. I'd rather endure a few crappy gank situations as it is balanced against the freedom I'm given otherwise.

There are ways around ganking, anyways. Joining a guild with good diplomatic relationships with other guilds is an easy way to marginalize ganking guilds or groups of players, simply playing with your friends is a pretty good strategy too.  I don't consider getting jumped by five other players while I'm rolling around with four other players myself to be a "gank", that's more of a fair fight to me!

My take is, you knew what you were getting into when you signed up for the server, so everyone is kind of in mutual understanding there. That's not to say that gankers that will kill you at any time no matter what (even when you're at low health fighting a mob) aren't jerks, but I expect it and so I just move on with my life when it happens.

What are your MMO PvP preferences? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

GrayGhost79 writes:

I'm actually happy with UO's approach to a degree. True PvP diehards are few and far between, sure there are some but they are outnumbered by those that don't enjoy PvP and by those that enjoy PvP in small to medium doses. UO is one of the few that actually made an attempt to satisfy both. Someone that wants nothing to do with PvP could stay in trammel, someone that wanted PvP all day every day could stay in Fel. and those that wanted to dabble in PvP from time to time could make a trip to Fel. It also allowed those of us that wanted a break from PvP from time to time to simply go to Trammerl and hang out in the world without worrying about a fight breaking out. 

 

If you could cater to more than just one group you could have a viable PvP game. Have one world packed with PvE and plenty of things to do. Then give them a lawless world where PvP is plentiful and they have things worth fighting over. Gear, Land, Loot, Pride, w/e just something worth fighting for. 

You could even go so far as having a main world full of PvE goodness. A secondary area for PvP with tons of PvP goodness and a 3rd area designed to give way to large scale PvP for Clans sort of like how they did it in Shadow Bane or DarkFall. 

The gankers may not approve but then again they aren't PvP'rs to begin with so who cares what they think lol. 

Fri Apr 01 2011 12:56PM Report
kalistrike writes:

while i don't personally advocate just ganking the whole server i can see the fun in the challenge. theres been many many times when that lowbee gank lead to massive fights between my friends and others which lead to hours of fun conflict and laughs.

Also i wish more people had your attitude over pvp and random ganks. it happens and prolly always will.. the trick i think is just to roll with it, smile and either move along to another spot, or gun up grab some friends and make it a brawl worth remembering.

It does tho seem like a large portion of people join pvp servers who seem to not like pvp which makes very little sence to me. as an examplle my cousins play WoW(shame on them) on a pvp server. and all i hear from them is constant crying nerf over getting hosed randomly. personally i feel that people like this may possibly need to reroll to a server better suited to their gamestyle rather than cry or call the game broken when the final choice was their's as to what game and what style of server they play on

Fri Apr 01 2011 6:07PM Report
drowelf writes:

well the problem is that when you do leave the area and the ganker fallows, now i donot mind PVP in some cersonstnaces i hate it when you are trying to get the mob/pet mob that spawns once or twice a day and the gank patrol camps its spots and attacks you while you are wighting for the mob to spawn, or while you are trying to tame/kill it and all the while the ganker is going "die noob" or the like.

Sat Apr 02 2011 1:12PM Report
flydowntome writes:

People who advocate the EVE model must not play it. PvP can be forced pretty easily through the wardec system in hi-security, and once you enter any PvP area, there is no newbie protection worth anything. You can get ganked very easily by ships much tougher than you and fleets much bigger.

You can avoid conflict, but it's not very satisfying to actually play it. Once you realize that you only lose what you choose to, PvP becomes dull, and pointless. Making ISK to get rid of it.

Ironically the best PvP I've played was in Champions Online. It's battlegrounds, but you have flexibility to play how you like in terms of build, and there were enough modes to make room for anyone. 

Sat Apr 02 2011 3:21PM Report
SBE1 writes:

Fact 1) FFA PvP is a niche market; most players prefer PvE to PvP.  Consentual PvP tends to balance the two.

Fact 2) Being on a side that is consistently losing in PvP usually results in quitting on the losing side, making the losing side more likely to lose in the future, reducing the population of server/game. Having more than 2 sides in a PvP conflict can significantly reduce this problem (an NPC 3rd realm does not count), as it is highly unlikely 1 side can have a large majority of the server PvP popluation.

Fact 3) Players prefer balanced PvP. PvP games that make each side with unique classes/abilities risk unbalanced PvP.  Games that offer nearly identical classes to each side are better.

Fact 4)  Premade PvP groups dominate casual PvP players. Hence, you must allow casual PvP players to "zerg" to compensate, otherwise they will not PvP.  Therefore, the PvP system needs to be able to handle zerging mechanics in PvP, not just 8v8 or whatever combat.

My opinion #1) PvP players prefer PvP modest rewards for additional PvP abilities, while PvE players prefer gear rewards for additional looks/damage/etc.   Mixing high-end gear with PvP is usually a bad idea, because that creates an arms race within PvP, forcing PvP players to PvE.  Thus, high-end powerful PvE gear should be only effective in PvE situations, not PvP.  Hence, you reward those players who like PvE (most of them) without alienating the PvP players.

My opinion #2) PvP should have an influence on the overall world. DAOC relic system and ability to access special dungeons based upon PvP activity is one example. PvP without consequences becomes a boring gankfest and removes realm pride and social aspects of the game.

My opinion #3) What has killed many PvP games lately is either they are FFA PvP (niche market), or they have only 2 sided PvP combat (losers quit, killing the server/game), imbalanced classes in PvP (losers quit, see above), or no consequenses for PvP other than just random ganking pleasure (which becomes boring for the gankers, annoying for the gankees). Finally, games that did all the above right can still fail with the inclusion of overpowering PvE gear in a successful PvP game.  In conclusion, there is a very fine line to getting PvP "right" in an MMO game, and a lot of landmines that a developer can fall into. However, the developer that gets it "right" will probably have a very high subscription base.  My next hope for the right PvP game is GW2.  Otherwise, the current game that comes closest to this is the Classic DAOC Freeshard.

Mon Apr 04 2011 10:07AM Report
osc8r writes:

FFA PVP with meaingful risk (item or coin drop) and capturable cities or leveling spots etc... That way PVP is exciting, and meaingful, and guild politics is an Integral part of gameplay.

Man I miss UO and AC1.

Mon Apr 04 2011 10:06PM Report
Spids writes:

@SBE1: Agreed!

Tue Apr 05 2011 4:41AM Report
lethys writes:

Large areas of World PvP which matter far more than PvE does, and no instanced battlegrounds.  All sorts of stuff should be in the PvP areas like towns that can be taken over.  Three factions please.

Thu Apr 07 2011 9:36PM Report
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