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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » MMO Devs listen up - OPT-IN Open World PvP

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  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

 
OP  10/04/12 2:04:30 PM#1

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.

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

10/04/12 2:38:52 PM#2

Well, the Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend (for now) has plenty of precedent. You need look no further then WWII and the relationship between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union for that.

It's not that the powers become all "buddy, buddy", it's that they recognize that without some level of cooperation they are going to be destroyed. They do it out of neccesity, not desire.  I don't play Secret World, but I think the way they have that dynamic setup between the factions is a very interesting aspect of the game.

In terms of  "OPT-IN" Open World PvP....I think there are some problems in that regard... more so for sandbox style games. Mostly this would be in terms of actions that support combat efforts but aren't directly combat actions themselves.

For example is a millitary force supposed to simply let someone they KNOW is working for the enemy stroll all around thier base or stanging areas scouting out positions for the enemy simply because they have thier "flag off"?  Even in the field, if you see someone that is freindly to the enemy, do you let them alone so they can provide combat intel about your forces and movements?

The other aspect is if the game includes any sort of economic/logistic aspects to warfare (as sandbox games often seek to incorporate). If someone is out gathering resources that you KNOW are going to be used to craft/construct weapons for the enemy...you just leave them alone because they are "unflagged" ?

By allowing the "OPT-IN" feature, you are taking very important elements out of warfare.

 

I'd vastly prefer systems where there were "free fire" and "non-agression" zones/area.  This allows players to choose to engage or not based upon the territory they entered. Once you enter a "free fire" zone you are fair game regardless of whether you really want to fight or not. By contrast "non agression zones" you don't allow fighting no matter what your faction is.

This both gets around some of the problems with the "OPT-IN" model and is more realistic. There are plenty of situations where hostile factions can't engage each other in neutral territory (e.g. Switzerland) or are restricted to brushfire/proxy wars in remote territories because they don't want to risk escalation by direct attacks on each others homeland (US/Soviet situation during the Cold War). YMMV

 

  kadepsyson

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/15/06
Posts: 1963

The doctors say his chances are 50/50...but there's only a 10% chance of that.

10/04/12 2:43:17 PM#3

I'm more of a fan of the risk vs reward system.  I'm a bit less of a fan of the "oh I know I can win this fight, time to flag, then hide while my timer disappears" system.

I think if you choose to travel into an area that's dangerous, you should expect some... danger?

I find it extremely irritating when a player can just wander around in complete protection despite being from a faction I'm at war with because... he didn't enter a slash command.  That's just silly.

El Psy Congroo

  worldalpha

Novice Member

Joined: 11/03/11
Posts: 401

Working hard on WorldAlpha

10/04/12 2:44:48 PM#4
Here's hoping I'm not in the clueless club!

Thanks,
Mike
Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

10/04/12 2:48:58 PM#5
Originally posted by MindTrigger

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.

PVP flagging is great if there's a reason for it. AC and, as you mentioned, SWG offered it. However, the more meaningful the actions of the players and the resources of the game world in relation to PVP, the more PVP flagging works against it.

Although UO's solution was a duct tape solution, it's one of my favorite approaches - two facets of the game world so that you can use the same character on the same server for both open world PVP and consensual PVP environments. GW2 emulated that with the separate PvP area, while also addressing the issue of PvE vs PvP gear.

 

  xDrac

Novice Member

Joined: 11/28/10
Posts: 177

10/04/12 2:56:23 PM#6

You know what game hat absolute perfect Open World PVP? 

Lineage II

Lineage 3 - www.lineage3-online.com
Web & Graphic Design - www.xdrac.deviantart.com

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5313

10/04/12 3:00:42 PM#7

I've never thought that flagging is a good solution to open-world PvP.  I've played several games that had it, and it almost universally led to hardly any open world PvP.

The only folks who would set their flag on, would basically be looking for a fight, which kind of defeats the purpose of open-world PvP.  And then if you were crazy enough to walk around flagged, all it would take is for a few other opportunistic players to see you, turn their flag on, and kill you while you couldn't have done anything  to them before they attacked.

Then there are "perma-flag" systems like EQ1 that were just epic fail.  Reds (flagged) in EQ1 couldn't get healed by other players unless they were red, so grouping with them wasn't really possible.  And I think I may have saw only like 2 red names during my entire playtime in EQ1.

IMO, a good way to do open world PvP would be where anyone could attack anyone, but there would be REALLY harsh penalties for "murderers."  There would be factions you could join though that were "at war" so you could PvP without threat of being a murderer.  The problem is that the devs always cowtow to the ganker whiners that want to be able to gank with miniscule penalties.  In my mind, if you are a murderer in a game, perma-death should be on the table for you.

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

 
OP  10/04/12 3:37:22 PM#8
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

Well, the Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend (for now) has plenty of precedent. You need look no further then WWII and the relationship between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union for that.

It's not that the powers become all "buddy, buddy", it's that they recognize that without some level of cooperation they are going to be destroyed. They do it out of neccesity, not desire.  I don't play Secret World, but I think the way they have that dynamic setup between the factions is a very interesting aspect of the game.

In terms of  "OPT-IN" Open World PvP....I think there are some problems in that regard... more so for sandbox style games. Mostly this would be in terms of actions that support combat efforts but aren't directly combat actions themselves.

For example is a millitary force supposed to simply let someone they KNOW is working for the enemy stroll all around thier base or stanging areas scouting out positions for the enemy simply because they have thier "flag off"?  Even in the field, if you see someone that is freindly to the enemy, do you let them alone so they can provide combat intel about your forces and movements?

The other aspect is if the game includes any sort of economic/logistic aspects to warfare (as sandbox games often seek to incorporate). If someone is out gathering resources that you KNOW are going to be used to craft/construct weapons for the enemy...you just leave them alone because they are "unflagged" ?

By allowing the "OPT-IN" feature, you are taking very important elements out of warfare.

 

I'd vastly prefer systems where there were "free fire" and "non-agression" zones/area.  This allows players to choose to engage or not based upon the territory they entered. Once you enter a "free fire" zone you are fair game regardless of whether you really want to fight or not. By contrast "non agression zones" you don't allow fighting no matter what your faction is.

This both gets around some of the problems with the "OPT-IN" model and is more realistic. There are plenty of situations where hostile factions can't engage each other in neutral territory (e.g. Switzerland) or are restricted to brushfire/proxy wars in remote territories because they don't want to risk escalation by direct attacks on each others homeland (US/Soviet situation during the Cold War). YMMV

 

I'm 40 years old and I'm well schooled on world history.  (I actually read and stuff)

These aren't governments in TSW.  They are basically megalomaniacal cults.  The point wasn't about the viability of working together, it was about how easy it would have been to allow PvP in a game like TSW, and originally I believe it was part of the design.  It was changed very late in development.

I don't care about non-aggression zones because they segregate the population.  The point of opt-in PvP is to put it out there for anyone to experience, even if they are just bystanders.  I loved the battles that would happen in SWG cities, even when I was just watching.  There were also times when I joined in a fight because someone asked me for help, or because seeing everyone else fighting gave me the itch.  That wouldn't have happened much had the battles always been in some far away zone.

I understand your opinion, but I stil find opt-in to be the best of both worlds, while also inviting people who might otherwise only PvE to be a part of it all.  Look how dead and boring London and Seoule are in TSW.  It would have been a lot more fun to see fights on the streets, or out in the game world in my opinion.  The same goes for a lot of other boring games out there.

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.

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

 
OP  10/04/12 3:41:14 PM#9
Originally posted by Creslin321

I've never thought that flagging is a good solution to open-world PvP.  I've played several games that had it, and it almost universally led to hardly any open world PvP.

The only folks who would set their flag on, would basically be looking for a fight, which kind of defeats the purpose of open-world PvP.  And then if you were crazy enough to walk around flagged, all it would take is for a few other opportunistic players to see you, turn their flag on, and kill you while you couldn't have done anything  to them before they attacked.

Then there are "perma-flag" systems like EQ1 that were just epic fail.  Reds (flagged) in EQ1 couldn't get healed by other players unless they were red, so grouping with them wasn't really possible.  And I think I may have saw only like 2 red names during my entire playtime in EQ1.

IMO, a good way to do open world PvP would be where anyone could attack anyone, but there would be REALLY harsh penalties for "murderers."  There would be factions you could join though that were "at war" so you could PvP without threat of being a murderer.  The problem is that the devs always cowtow to the ganker whiners that want to be able to gank with miniscule penalties.  In my mind, if you are a murderer in a game, perma-death should be on the table for you.

SWG had PvP fights all the time, in the NPC cities, and the player-built cities when Galactic Civil War bases were introduced.  Just depends on the game, I guess.  There were also large groups of duelers that would hang out and fight.  It made the cities more interesting, IMO.

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.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5356

I dare you to pin a label on me.

10/04/12 4:39:56 PM#10

Every single flagging system I've encountered has sucked. I agree with GrumpyMel2 zones would be a much more robust solution. Flagging systems are never simple, and will always be exploited.

But then again I think OWPvP is crap so what do I know...

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  ste2000

Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4710

10/04/12 4:39:58 PM#11
Originally posted by xDrac

You know what game hat absolute perfect Open World PVP? 

Vanilla WoW.

Never PvPed so much in my life.

 

  drivec

Novice Member

Joined: 4/08/08
Posts: 89

10/04/12 4:45:33 PM#12

pvp zones where exp rewards are higher then normal thus giveing reason for pvp and options to op out if you dont want to.

 

this would be my favorite type of solution. 

  phantomghost

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/05/11
Posts: 604

"Kill me, my man kills you, that's how you lose."

10/04/12 4:55:00 PM#13

I never really considered myself to be real good at pvp.

 

In EQ yeah I won most GM pvp events.  I won my servers self run ffa pvp event.  But I was at the time the best monk on server and I had my team with me.

 

Every game after EQ I went PvP server.

 

WoW... I was amazing at pvp... I never had such an easier pvp experience.  I could solo 2v2 to 2200+ by myself.  I always made top % of team and it became very boring.  This was the only game I felt I was better than everyone else... because simply put I was.

AoC-  I was very good... the game was easy... open world pvp was a joke.

DF- I was ok but really I was no where near as skilled as many others.

MO- I always sucked really... I could win fights with groups that was about it, but I did start late and did not play long.

Rift- I sucked at first then I found the OP 2h skill tree and became amazing.

SWTOR- I was amazing... everyone else sucked.

 

Why do I get so bored with WoW clones?  Because they are so easy... they are boring.  I should not go into the game and easily out perform many others... when i go into a PvP game I am no where near the competition.

 

"I see they watchin' me and takin' notes on my moves, Run up on me it's all I want I ain't got nothin' to lose."

  Banquetto

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 1017

10/04/12 5:27:15 PM#14
I find it amusing that you sneer at people who "have only been gaming since WoW", and then go on to propose a system which is pretty much identical to how WoW's Normal servers work.
  ElSandman

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 94

10/04/12 6:24:58 PM#15
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

Well, the Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend (for now) has plenty of precedent. You need look no further then WWII and the relationship between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union for that.

It's not that the powers become all "buddy, buddy", it's that they recognize that without some level of cooperation they are going to be destroyed. They do it out of neccesity, not desire.  I don't play Secret World, but I think the way they have that dynamic setup between the factions is a very interesting aspect of the game.

In terms of  "OPT-IN" Open World PvP....I think there are some problems in that regard... more so for sandbox style games. Mostly this would be in terms of actions that support combat efforts but aren't directly combat actions themselves.

For example is a millitary force supposed to simply let someone they KNOW is working for the enemy stroll all around thier base or stanging areas scouting out positions for the enemy simply because they have thier "flag off"?  Even in the field, if you see someone that is freindly to the enemy, do you let them alone so they can provide combat intel about your forces and movements?

The other aspect is if the game includes any sort of economic/logistic aspects to warfare (as sandbox games often seek to incorporate). If someone is out gathering resources that you KNOW are going to be used to craft/construct weapons for the enemy...you just leave them alone because they are "unflagged" ?

By allowing the "OPT-IN" feature, you are taking very important elements out of warfare.

 

I'd vastly prefer systems where there were "free fire" and "non-agression" zones/area.  This allows players to choose to engage or not based upon the territory they entered. Once you enter a "free fire" zone you are fair game regardless of whether you really want to fight or not. By contrast "non agression zones" you don't allow fighting no matter what your faction is.

This both gets around some of the problems with the "OPT-IN" model and is more realistic. There are plenty of situations where hostile factions can't engage each other in neutral territory (e.g. Switzerland) or are restricted to brushfire/proxy wars in remote territories because they don't want to risk escalation by direct attacks on each others homeland (US/Soviet situation during the Cold War). YMMV

 

I agree totally with this ^^

The point of open world PvP is the whole meta game that ensues as a consequence.  Opt-In flags effectively totally destroy this meta game.

When you sign into the game you are opting in.  (excluding possible limited afety areas)

 

  rungard

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

10/04/12 7:40:00 PM#16

i think players are going to have to adapt to world pvp at some point for content reasons.

my strategy would be to better incorperate it into the game through ingame mechanisms.

for instance if your a killer then your a killer. You look different, have many restrictions and get few if any protections from other players killing you. You do get more power to compensate for your disadvantages.

if your a hardcore carebear then your a carebear. You join the order of pacification and you get all kinds of tools to avoid the killers, but no tools to kill them. for instance one skill might be "Detect Evil".. you can detect them long before they get close to you, or "great divide" which makes you invisible to them and them invisible to you when activated,  numerous inventory gold and item protections.

and of course if your a killer of killers, you join the order of hunters and you get tracking, some equipment protections (but not nearly as many as the carebear order), and other skills for tracking down and killing killers. You wouldnt have as many avoidance skills as the carebear order above.

and other organizations that offer different benifits in relation to open world pvp to suit everyones taste.

it can all be done in game, and additionally you can allow players to accept many different levels of risk according to their playstyle, but rather than keep them seperate, you integrate them in the same world and give them tools.

i dont think people would be nearly as averse to world pvp if they had the tools to defend themselves with on a level they are comfortable with.

  Ausare

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/11
Posts: 870

10/04/12 7:45:09 PM#17
People do not have to adapt. Pve content could just improve.
  maccarthur2004

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/12
Posts: 404

10/04/12 7:54:16 PM#18
Open World PVP is a "inevitable" and mandatory feature in sandbox mmos, since these mmos try to simulate a "realistic" competion between humans for political/geopolitical domains, ownerships, resources and etc. Without OWPvP, that competion and its social consequences (necessity of in-game alliances, friendships, political intrigues, tactics for self-defense, etc) ceases to exist.

"What we are aiming in ArcheAge is to let the players feel the true fun of MMORPG by forming a community like real life by interacting with other players, whether it be conflict or cooperation." (Jake Song)

  rungard

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

10/04/12 7:58:02 PM#19
Originally posted by Ausare
People do not have to adapt. Pve content could just improve.

 how so? Without a brain behind it, it will always be scripted.

i say make it really really hard to exist  as a killer so theres not to many of them ( about 4%), make it so that the killers need to compete among themselves and give the best of them skills to initiate npc attacks on the 96%.

Free dynamic gameplay for everyone.

 

  Ausare

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/11
Posts: 870

10/04/12 8:01:08 PM#20
Depends. Say you have a world with not but a starter town and a world filled with mobs. The characters then have to go out a clear areas to build. Towns have to be organized and defended from mob swarms that would try to reclaim areas. Pve...sandbox....player politics cause towns can decay without management.
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