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General Discussion  » ESO devs: If you want to get open world PvP "right" read this...

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Apprentice Member

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Posts: 457

OP  1/22/13 11:39:00 PM#1

I know it's early and we haven't seen any footage yet but I'm tired of companies (Mythic, Anet, Blizzard) that don't learn from the mistakes of the past.


First of we all know that this type of PvP started with DAoC, and (pre-ToA) DAoC is considered by most people as the best PvP game of all time.


But then games like the DAoC expansions (ToA and later), WAR, GW2 and WoW (Outland zone control, wintergrasp, tol barad) tried to improve the formula and failed completely. The key to creating the perfect PvP is seeing what those games changed and why it didn't work.


Let's start with the DAoC expansions' mistakes: 

- It introduced mandatory (and grindy/boring) PvE to be able to compete in PvP

- it added many more poorly balanced skills (DAoC had already tons of skills for each class)

- it added many more weird/crazy/completely unbalanced classes (this had already started with the Shrouded Isles expansion)

- it added weird "morph" skills, everyone started running around as panthers, crocodiles etc. Armors, races were no longer visible and the casting/melee animations were mediocre.

- it homogenized the realm abilities, making classes less unique in the name of balance (the game was impossible to balance though, due to the above changes)

- It added items (artifacts) that required months of camping a spot (just google cloudsong and watch the video, you'll understand) to get and they were required to be competitive in PvP


WAR's mistakes: 

- 2 factions instead of 3 (no danger here)

- low duration WoW-like crowd control system: Why is this important? High duration aoe CC allows a full group of skilled players to take on zergs of lesser skilled enemies. With low duration CC the number of players is much more important than skill (the skill cap is much lower)

- instanced WoW-like battlegrounds that were much more rewarding / easy than open world PvP. Players will always choose the path of least resistance.  If instanced PvP lets you progress faster nobody will bother with open world PvP.

- Keep trading. There was simply no incentive to defend a keep. It was much more effective to let your opponent take your keep and then take it back (and do it over and over)

- Renown Rank progression was way too fast. In (pre-ToA) DAoC it took YEARS to reach max RR, yet in WAR they did it very quickly. Renown ranks(war) didn't have the same weight as realm ranks(daoc), they didn't feel important.

- 6man groups instead of 8, which made it even harder to be effective as a single group against zergs.

- no DF-like dungeon to fight for (DF=darkness falls)


GW2 WvW's mistakes:

- No progression (they promised to add it recently)

- Main objective is taking keeps, not killing enemies. This led to one and only one playstyle: Zerging. Also this led to the losing servers getting discouraged / giving up easily.

- culling (awaiting fix)

- poor performance compared to the PvE zones

- Relics kept getting hacked so they just removed them

- low duration CC system favoring larger groups

- No trinity means no healers which is favoring larger groups

- 5 man groups (way too small for open world pvp)

- The downed mechanic favoring larger groups

- siege way too effective against players

- siege can be bought with RL money

- names of enemies not visible, enemies changing every 2 weeks = impossible to build rivalries (one of the things that made DAoC so awesome)

- easy to transfer to the winning server

- all 3 enemy realms are essentially the same realm (same classes/races)

- no DF-like dungeon to fight for 


I won't even go into WoW's open world ideas (wintergrasp etc), every single one was a trainwreck.


So what is the key of creating a great open world PvP?

1) permanent progression which is only achieved through open world PvP kills (primary objective) and taking keeps (secondary objective, much slower than kills). Progression should be endless or extremely hard to reach the max rank. It should be interesting: not +1 str per rank etc, give us PvP-only skills that can't be unlocked with PvE.

2) A dungeon like Darkness Falls to fight over

3) The game should be optimized for large open world battles (without culling)

4) Large duration crowd control system, large groups (8 players is optimal), no "downed mechanic", yes to the  trinity(healers,tanks,dps) to allow for many different playstyles (zerging, competitive group vs group, soloing, small group, stealthing etc)

5) Relics (that don't get hacked easily) to fight over 

6) Names of enemies visible, same enemies all the time (to build rivalries and realm pride, and to make the whole war feel important)

7) Make defending keeps much more rewarding than trading them with your enemies.

8) DON'T force us to PvE (much) to be able to compete in PvP.

9) The skill system should allow skilled players to overpower zergs of lesser skilled players. If existed back in 2002, DAoC would be the most watched game by far. It was insanely competitive. But if the skill cap is as low as WoW's/GW2's it will never happen.

DAoC - Excalibur & Camlann

  User Deleted
1/22/13 11:42:54 PM#2
Wow good post!!!

Novice Member

Joined: 6/20/11
Posts: 381

1/22/13 11:43:32 PM#3
Excellent post.

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Not thinking before you speak is human. Not thinking before you hit ENTER has no excuse.

1/22/13 11:51:01 PM#4

I love when someone comes along and rips out of my head what I'm too lazy to put into text for everyone else to understand.



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Joined: 8/13/05
Posts: 162

1/23/13 12:26:52 AM#5

*Sigh* It would be so nice, (you know why I'm sighing).  Thank you for the wonderful post.  You've obviously put some thought into this as the end result of your experience wrought a very cohesive and much desired list of salivatory bullet points.  /clap An old old Darkness Falls vid for kicks and giggles.  A feature so fun it got its own song.


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"See how I reward those who fail me!"

1/23/13 11:06:31 AM#6

Practically agree with all the OP says. However you won't be facing the same enemies all the time due to the Megaserver system. There's a campaign system that ensures you will essentially fight for the same instance of Cyrodil over a longer period, with mostly the same allies and enemies, but that only lasts as long as the campaign.

"Tiny clown, he got wet. I was talking to a psychic and I can't sleep in the ozone. There are too many different peanuts, looking sad.


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Joined: 4/19/05
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1/23/13 11:21:05 AM#7

Disagree with you point in CC like "- low duration WoW-like crowd control system:"


WoW CC's are exagerated and not fun. I believe the first thing dev. have in mind is making the game fun.

But yeah , world pvp on recent mmo's are just bad or non-existence.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/08
Posts: 1146

1/23/13 11:28:55 AM#8
Excellent post, OP. On the whole, you are right on the money. I do like the later iterations of DAOC's RA system better than the original one, and I don't think minute long mezz and root are necessary (and DAOC long since added counters to them such as spell resists reducing duration, AE drop off, RAs like Purge and Determination, and Cure Mezz spells). But you are dead on about the need for progression through player kills and separating RvR from PvE gear grinding.

Camelot Unchained Backer
DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/21/07
Posts: 1730

1/23/13 11:32:03 AM#9

Other than the bit about longer term CC i agree with the OP's well thought out post.


on that one spot i disagree though.  i am not sure i have the answer to this but one thing i can say for certain is that being CC for 45 seconds in the middle of a PVP fight is not fun at all and i'm 100% sure i'm not along in that.


also, i'd like some element of risk to be applied into the world PVP.  i'm not saying it's got to be full loot or anything so severe but maybe a coin drop or small loss of XP would make losing feel more punishing and winning more rewarding.

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1/23/13 11:38:51 AM#10
Originally posted by boxsnd

- Keep trading. There was simply no incentive to defend a keep. It was much more effective to let your opponent take your keep and then take it back (and do it over and over)

This is the one that resonated with me the most.

I recall taking a keep in Warhammer and I was staying and defending it. We were fighting the enemy and someone in chat wrote "so, what are we doing here, just skirmishing?" let's go take another one.

No pride in ownership.

  User Deleted
1/23/13 11:39:51 AM#11

Great post OP, I agree with almost everything you mentioned.   Devs need to realize that open world PvP with meaningful objectives and consequences is what will actually create truly long-term, dynamic content.

Instead they choose to keep throwing PvE gimmicks at us while turning PvP into the same old mini-games.  


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1/23/13 11:42:29 AM#12

TESO is a 100% repeat of DAoC's ToA expansion. just brace yourselves now.


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Posts: 7246

1/23/13 11:42:46 AM#13
War got its cc system right at a latter date when it made all cc break on damage, but fairly easy to pull off, this let coordinated groups take out the aoe bomber groups.

Incidentally one thing I do hope they borrow from war is pvp tanking abilities like hold the line and guard. War got a lot of things wrong, but one thing it nailed better than any mmo (including daoc) was how it handled tanks in pvp.

Re culling: daoc had culling, but it did it right (as does planetside) by culling the players furthest away. Gw2 does it wrong, seems to cull players at random.

Re DF:
Doesn't need it, it has sacking the white and gold tower and declaring a new emperor as the end goal. Plus there are a number of open dungeons familiar from oblivion dotted about cyrodil.

Re names: hell yeah, why I'm playing ps2 not gw2. Also have the chat coords of friendly kills like in daoc.

Re: forced to pve. Agree, make it so you pick 2 from pvp, pve and crafting to have the best gear.

I would add
1 use a daoc like gear,/ power curve. not none at all like gw2, but not stupid wtfpwnunoobs gear like in wow and war once bioware got their hands on it.
2 drop the megaserver so the campaign means something and you can faction lock on a per server basis. this kind of pvp does not work without faction lock see tsw as example. this also opens up the possibility of ffa and coop servers which would satisfy people who put more importance on grouping with who the hell they like and going where they like.
3 long walks. death has to mean something. this is one thing gw2 did get right. and war and ps2 got wrong. also means you can break deadlock if people heavily camp a defensive point.
4 don't put rez sites inside keeps. bioware changed war to do this, removing all the tactics of watching poster doors etc. it made it disadvantageous to kill enemy players in the open field, you just have them a free death taxi to where they could do you the most damage.

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Posts: 457

OP  1/23/13 11:44:43 AM#14
Originally posted by renatodias

Disagree with you point in CC like "- low duration WoW-like crowd control system:"


WoW CC's are exagerated and not fun. I believe the first thing dev. have in mind is making the game fun.

But yeah , world pvp on recent mmo's are just bad or non-existence.

WoW CC isn't fun because they have diminishing returns instead of full on immunity. Getting chain stunned to death isn't fun for anyone. 


I realize that long duration CC might sound scary but there should be ways to get out of it (active skill like purge with a long cooldown, passive cc duration reduce, perhaps a healer demezz/cure with a cooldown) and it should give you full immunity for a short time. If it's implemented correctly it's way more fun/less annoying than short duration cc with diminishing returns, and it promotes skill instead of zerging.

DAoC - Excalibur & Camlann


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1/23/13 11:50:31 AM#15
well there will be an incentive to keep a keep because you can actually become emperor of cyrodill..your faction can actually rule the land.

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1/23/13 11:52:17 AM#16
The problem with SOME wow cc is you can take damage while controlled.

I have no problem with say sheep. It's things like rogue stuns and fear that are the problem.

If all cc in wow broke on damage, it would have a good cc system where you used cc more tactically. E.g. you cc the healers at the back then attack all the dos now they have no support.

A lot of mmos make this mistake, then what you get is simple tactic of fire off a bunch if cc at the blob then aoe it to feck.

All cc breaking on damage is good because it forces pvpers to be careful about use of aoe, without really harming pve.

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1/23/13 11:56:14 AM#17
Originally posted by boxsnd

2) A dungeon like Darkness Falls to fight over



Been waiting for something like this for a long time since DAOC!


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1/23/13 12:10:28 PM#18

Great thread! I love it when someone goes into detail of pros/cons of MMOs I didn't get a chance to play. I wonder how you'd figure in how Aion does PvP if you have played that too.

One thing I don't get is why do you say 8 player groups are always better compared to other games with 6. Is it simply easier to manage them compared to having an raid of 1 group +2?


What about PvP abilities that had increased effects based on the size of the group you are targeting to deal with zergs more effectively?


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1/23/13 12:15:12 PM#19

great Post OP you hit the nail on a lot of it for sure with myself and friends. I started my PVPing in DAOC also then went on to shadowbane wow warhammer etc Ive played just about every mmorpg out there as well. Guild Wars 2 pvp system was a joke and just an excuse to sell box copies and its sad it took them to right now to finally admit that world vs world needs a realm ability system which is part of the reason why DAOC was great. Hell even in warhammer people used to bitch about the renoun ability system saying it was boring and not enough in it so they completely revamped it .

I can live without the long term rivalry myself as long as you can see player names , give shouts out on forums and just have a good time talking smack and playing for your realm like DAOC did. If they can nail the realm pride thing and build a real community I think this game will be a smash hit in the long run.

I also agree on the CC in wow and please do not leave out Rifts terrible pvp system also that is a direct copy and paste of wows. The CC in both of those games was completely over the time with long stun timers fear and sheeping. It was not only stupid but the fact people consider that garbage an esport with arena shows how bad players today really are. If you gotta win combat battles by chain stunning players and using absurd amounts of c.c you are not a true pvper IMO. Immunity timers are awesome and these wow clones nowadays including wow itself should take note and stop trying to act like they are so much better than everything else out there for pvp because most people can agree the new age pvp and battlegrounds just plain out suck.


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Posts: 457

OP  1/23/13 12:15:28 PM#20
Originally posted by mmoguy43

Great thread! I love it when someone goes into detail of pros/cons of MMOs I didn't get a chance to play. I wonder how you'd figure in how Aion does PvP if you have played that too.

One thing I don't get is why do you say 8 player groups are always better compared to other games with 6. Is it simply easier to manage them compared to having an raid of 1 group +2?

I played aion for about 3 minutes. It just wasn't for me.


8 players in a group just have much better odds of taking on a zerg compared to a 5-6man group. 8 people are like a little zerg of their own.

DAoC - Excalibur & Camlann

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