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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » RvR...what works, what doesn't?

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  daelnor

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/16/04
Posts: 1467

 
OP  8/17/09 1:57:01 AM#1

There are many old jaded vets hanging around from the UO days, many old DAOC vets...and more recently...a ton of disgruntled shadowbane, AOC, WAR and Darkfall players.

Now, I'm really not one for a completely free for all pvp game...I've come to realize that in general greedy ganker players will destroy the game and drive off the masses until it is garaunteed to be a small niche game on life support.  It's just a simple fact.

DAOC had a good thing going in it's hay day with factioned RvR.  Shadowbane had a good thing going for awhile with its more free for all take on things, and probably would have done a lot better if their engine wasn't so craptastic and bugged.  I for one had a blast in both games, for awhile.  DAOC held me longer due to the fact that I wasn't constantly in danger of being ganked into oblivion by some snot nosed 12 year old on summer vacation, or some guy living in his mom's basement with nothing better to do than pvp 18 hours a day. You were only in danger when you put yourself into certain zones.

Both sides of that coin have their appeal, as well as their dissapointments.

What I want to know, is what are peoples opinions on what works and doesn't?

For instance...I believe WAR's RvR effort failed because they made it too structured and theme park like.  Small RvR lakes, combat objectives that didn't matter...etc.  In DAOC you really felt the realmwar, and you always had that wildcard third side.  WAR's RvR felt more like a badly thought out Battleground Scenario.

Shadowbane had awesome ideas and the political game was intense.  They even had bad ass ways to move groups of people in formations.  Unfortunately, the game engine itself and some of the core programming were a bit funky, and failed to deliver. 

Darkfall...well...it's a bit vanilla.  Too much focus on beating each other into a pulp, and cultivating the elitist ganker attitude..and too little gameplay.  Seriously...when your army is charging into battle naked so they don't lose their gear...something is wrong with your core ideas of the game...who the feck would charge a bunch of guys bearing polearms and nasty edged weapons, arrows, spears etc...and say "you know...I think it's a good idea to TAKE OFF MY PLATE ARMOR AND CHARGE INTO CERTAIN DEATH NAKED.." It just doesn't make any sense.

You may disagree with me, or have ideas of your own..but I want to hear what works, and what doesn't in your opinion.

Should every thing be about the keep siege? Should it be about factions? Should it be free for all guild vs. guild?

Note: this isn't really about full loot and can I gank a lvl 5 when I'm level 50 cause I'm a sadistic bastard that wants to make new players cry and quit the game so I can gloat by myself when I'm the only one left on my server....only looking for constructive realistic goals for pvp.  Then again..I'm asking for opinions, so everything is valid.

  Gyrus

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

8/17/09 2:18:28 AM#2

First RvR is not PvP and vice versa.

You can have PvP without RvR and you could have RvR without PvP

 

RvR works well with good PvP.

 

RvRers need there to be 'take and hold' objectives or some other meaningful (in game) consequence to RvR.

 

BALANCE.  BALANCE.  BALANCE.  I can't say that enough.  Developers need to consider how they will balance the PvP and RvR from the first day of the design.  If you can't think of a way to balance the PvP and RvR then stop right there and consider just a PvE game or even just a Single Player game.
On this last point, every single fight does not need to be balanced.  In fact, RvRers would prefer it was not.  Yes, there will be some zerging (and maybe even some ganking?  Though not too much if your design is good) and RvR players will accept that provided it is not the only way to play
Local zerging is something RvR players accept as a part of strategy.
But, overall, there should be a balancing mechanism.  If one part of the player group ever feels like they are just 'target drones' for another part of the player group all the time - the game will die.

 

As part of balance and anti zerging you need a large world.  Travel time alone can help give buffer zones to prevent 'rolling'.
Although, there are other things you can (and should)  include depending on the design.

 

Try to avoid instanced battles and battlezones as much as possible.  RvR players like to feel that they are fighting for a part of the world - not some shoebox floating in space somewhere.

 

A final word on balance - I believe it is possible to balance PvP and RvR games and the solution is relatively 'easy' and 'obvious'.
But, I will not share how.  The idea is worth money.  So, if I ever get my game design running you will see how then.

 

 

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  daelnor

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/16/04
Posts: 1467

 
OP  8/17/09 2:29:46 AM#3

First off...I know my original post is a bit chaotic and rambling...sorry, I'm at work right now and on a crappy computer.  So I tried to hammer that out in between bits of frenzied work.

Second, thanks for your inputs! I agree with you on the balance issue, as well as the large areas and travel times.  I think WAR and DAOC both dropped the ball by making RvR TOO accessible.

As soon as you could port all over the place in DAOC, instead of huge battles and wars spanning the frontiers you had random meaningless fights at which ever keep everyone could port to and insta-battle.  The frontier turned into a battleground.

In WAR...well...people just bagged whichever keep wasn't being defended to get gear, and if there was a keep defense...whichever side had more people won because they could get to it damn near instantly...and there was no third wildcard side.

As for balance..I can share my ideas, because I don't have the know how, time, or money to implement any of them in a game anytime this millenium :c)

I'm all for having factions, as long as their is an odd number of them.  As for balance...well, instead of weird mirror clases where one class will have X ability on one side, and a different class will have X ability on the other, combined with some varied skills...just give all sides the same classes.  If every side has access to the same abilities and the differences are mostly cosmetic, then most of your balance issues are gone right off the bat.  Sure, you'll have population imbalance issues, but they will work themselves out over time, and you could provide temporary bonuses to move to a server on your faction that is overwhelmed, or XP bonuses, etc for the underdog.  It will balance over time. 

  Gyrus

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

8/17/09 2:43:17 AM#4
Originally posted by daelnor
....

...  Sure, you'll have population imbalance issues, but they will work themselves out over time, and you could provide temporary bonuses to move to a server on your faction that is overwhelmed, or XP bonuses, etc for the underdog.  It will balance over time. 

 

Mark Jacobs?  Is that you?  Or maybe Russel Williams?

 

No, sorry, they won't.  Or rather when they do your game will already be dead.

As I say, if you can't figure out how to balance the game then stop right there and consider designing a Tetris clone...

 

Odd number of factions?  Okay that's a start (not my method BTW - but let's look at that idea and see if we can use that to help us).  Are there AI mobs in the game?
You could use AI mobs to make up for shortfalls in player numbers?

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  Spalliero

Novice Member

Joined: 2/04/07
Posts: 150

8/17/09 3:06:04 AM#5

You know the whole

 

RVR is not PvP is nonsense. If you are gonna have RvR you have to have PvP, they are intrinsic. They rely on each other and are in fact one in the same. You are fighting another player for something, an objective, an item, points, honor, reknown ect ect. Without PvP in the RvR then you have mirror classes without balance cause you are doing a design that relies on the idea of the "mirror" effect.

 

Balance is a wonderful term that everyone is attached to nowadays, and it is essential in the game but it's all about how it's implimented and done. For example, trying to balance by making mirror classes is virtually impossible (WAR). While if you work from the ground up in group interaction between classes and then work out the PvP it works better (WoW and all it's clones).

 

So in the end IMO first balance PvE balance, then PvP balance, and finish with RvR balance. Cause you can always unbalance an environment, an objective, a reward. The minute you unbalance classes and there interaction you see obvious problems.

 

I think mostly it'll be very interesting to see what Bioware comes up with on the PvP/RvR cause they are not a PvP developer, nor a mmo developer.

MMORPGs as a market have grown so large that success is at the same lvl as solo player games. So we all look to the biggest, baddest, upcoming or newest releases.

Sic Luceat Lux

  User Deleted
8/17/09 3:06:04 AM#6

Instances/battlegrounds have no place in rvr whatsoever

WAR is proof of that.

Beyond that, everything about DAoC's RvR system was perfect as far as im concerned.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

8/17/09 3:08:13 AM#7

Heh, exactly.

The more accurate statement might be population imbalance issues will work themselves *in* over time.

Without strong controls over what faction players play on, the overpopulated side gradually becomes more overpopulated.  Servers die out as the underpopulated side exoduses to better killing grounds (either another server, or another game.

" Are there AI mobs in the game?
You could use AI mobs to make up for shortfalls in player numbers?"

Sure.  As long as you have the same "if you don't have a plan, don't bother" attitude about implementing AI mobs in RVR as you do adding RVR to a MMORPG.  Simply augmenting the undermanned team with bots isn't going to cut it.  If you're doing RVR, chances are a large chunk of your players signed up for PVP...not PVE.

What works for RVR?

Planetside worked.  3 factions, zero PVE, lateral progression, and interesting combat.  I could see a similar game working with MMORPG-style gameplay (rather than the FPS gameplay PS had.)

  Gyrus

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

8/17/09 3:38:03 AM#8
Originally posted by Spalliero

You know the whole

RVR is not PvP is nonsense. If you are gonna have RvR you have to have PvP, they are intrinsic. They rely on each other and are in fact one in the same. You are fighting another player for something, an objective, an item, points, honor, reknown ect ect. Without PvP in the RvR then you have mirror classes without balance cause you are doing a design that relies on the idea of the "mirror" effect.

...

 

No.  You could design a game with RvR that has no PvP.

How?  Two teams... lets call them "Humans" and "Elves" fighting an AI Bot team... let's call it "Orcs".

The two teams win control points from the Orcs... let's call them "Keeps" and when all the Orc Keeps are taken the winning realm is the one that has the most Keeps.
It is basically a race (true) but it is also RvR.  Not good RvR I admit (and I would never design a game like that myself) but it is RvR all the same.  No PvP required.

I will agree with you however that players expect PvP with their RvR... but exactly how and what mix is still open to debate.

 

Tabula Rasa also had PvE RvR BTW.

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  Gyrus

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

8/17/09 3:41:41 AM#9
Originally posted by Axehilt
...

" Are there AI mobs in the game?
You could use AI mobs to make up for shortfalls in player numbers?"

Sure.  As long as you have the same "if you don't have a plan, don't bother" attitude about implementing AI mobs in RVR as you do adding RVR to a MMORPG.  Simply augmenting the undermanned team with bots isn't going to cut it.  If you're doing RVR, chances are a large chunk of your players signed up for PVP...not PVE.

...

Hey, I never said it was my preferred solution.  But it is better than just waiting to let it sort itself out - which (as you say) doesn't tend to happen.

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5544

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

8/17/09 3:54:28 AM#10
Originally posted by Gyrus
Originally posted by Spalliero

You know the whole

RVR is not PvP is nonsense. If you are gonna have RvR you have to have PvP, they are intrinsic. They rely on each other and are in fact one in the same. You are fighting another player for something, an objective, an item, points, honor, reknown ect ect. Without PvP in the RvR then you have mirror classes without balance cause you are doing a design that relies on the idea of the "mirror" effect.

...

 

No.  You could design a game with RvR that has no PvP.

How?  Two teams... lets call them "Humans" and "Elves" fighting an AI Bot team... let's call it "Orcs".

The two teams win control points from the Orcs... let's call them "Keeps" and when all the Orc Keeps are taken the winning realm is the one that has the most Keeps.
It is basically a race (true) but it is also RvR.  Not good RvR I admit (and I would never design a game like that myself) but it is RvR all the same.  No PvP required.

I will agree with you however that players expect PvP with their RvR... but exactly how and what mix is still open to debate.

 

Tabula Rasa also had PvE RvR BTW.

 

What you describe is not RvR. I would call it more like PvE-race, but not RvR.

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

  daelnor

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/16/04
Posts: 1467

 
OP  8/17/09 3:59:26 AM#11

What I think people are missing by my population balance statements:

Did DAOC have balance issues?  Of course.  Did WAR have balance issues? yeah.  Does WoW have balance issues? Yup.

Here's the problem though...DAOC had three realms..and still had balance issues.  Why was this?  There are probably a lot of reasons..but the glaring ones I saw were that each realm had different mechanics with the classes and their inter relationship with each other.

I.E. Midgard had instant AOE stuns, Albion had hella long range mezzes, hibs had bard insta mezz.   Through various nerfs and buffs, Mythic constantly gave one realm glaring advantages/disadvantages over the others...which brought people by the dozens to certain servers.

I say have an odd number of sides..but give all sides the same abilities and combinations of classes, etc.  You will naturally have one side with more people than the other, but it would be easier to entice people to switch, or come to a realm from a different server if play on each side was essentially the same, with some cosmetic differences.

People are now going to say...but this is what happened in WoW and there are still imbalances.   This is true..but they only have two factions..there is no third faction to team up with the under dog and take the big guy out.

Is that a perfect system? Not at all.  Can it work? Yeah.

Of course, this only applies if you are talking about a game with factions.  You could also do it with a more free style sandbox game where its not faction vs. faction as much as guild vs. guild.  The problem with that is how do you keep some monster chinese guild from dominating the entire world like happened in the late days of shadowbane?

Also, how do you make the game interesting long term? Everyone gets bored of random gank fests and no real pve content in those types of games.

  Gyrus

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

8/17/09 4:08:52 AM#12
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Gyrus
....

No.  You could design a game with RvR that has no PvP.

How?  Two teams... lets call them "Humans" and "Elves" fighting an AI Bot team... let's call it "Orcs".

The two teams win control points from the Orcs... let's call them "Keeps" and when all the Orc Keeps are taken the winning realm is the one that has the most Keeps.
It is basically a race (true) but it is also RvR.  Not good RvR I admit (and I would never design a game like that myself) but it is RvR all the same.  No PvP required.

I will agree with you however that players expect PvP with their RvR... but exactly how and what mix is still open to debate.

...

 

What you describe is not RvR. I would call it more like PvE-race, but not RvR.

Yes, it's an RvR 'race'.  Which is (technically) still "RvR" isn't it?

It may be a trite example... but I think I have shown that you could have 'RvR' without PvP.  Yeah, the RvR players would hate it... but that's not the point is it?

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5544

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

8/17/09 4:12:22 AM#13

WARs problems were numerous. One of those was that skills weren't balanced in either PvP or RvR despite the dev team's efforts to balance them for both. I like skills to have a heavy impact in PvP but at the same time it is a very slippery road when tried in RvR. WAR remains my sole experience of RvR (other than the short visit to the lagfest of Planetside full of spawn camp and exploitation), but I can't see a solution to have good RvR and good PvP in the same game other than having different skills for both.

This was seen in GW after a while when the only solution to have balanced PvP and balanced PvE seemed to be having separate skill descriptions for both or having different skills altogether. None can argue that GW's competitive PvP was bad. In fact I make the claim it is one of the best in this genre if not the best.

 

Also, zerging is a big turn off for a competitive PvP player like myself since it is a thing I cannot control and cannot influence. I don't like the idea that my effort in the battlefield is almost meaningless compared to the large masses.

I find this "meaningful" RvR to be fun in theory but I've yet to hear any real success in implementing it other than DAOC and that game has passed its golden days a long time ago, I hear.

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

  tvalentine

Novice Member

Joined: 4/01/06
Posts: 4234

“The things you own end up owning you.” -Tyler Durden

8/17/09 4:12:38 AM#14

RvR kinda sucks imo. I would perfer a more open world where people make their own decisions on who their enemies are. Adding politics and guildvsguild or clanvsclan wars adds much more depth then a RvR war that never ends.

Playing: EVE Online
Favorite MMOs: WoW, SWG Pre-cu, Lineage 2, UO, EQ, EVE online
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  WW4BW

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/03/06
Posts: 491

8/17/09 4:19:27 AM#15

If you have more than 2 sides (and that number isnt 4 either) Population imbalances wont matter much. Unless ofcourse every side but 1 is very poorly designed, but then its a crap game anyway.

When I played DAoC, Albion had about 40-45%, Midgard(where I played) about 35%, and the faeries and leprechauns of Hibernia had about 20-25%. On my server atleast. but it seemed to be the general population balance. Now Hibernia was kinda unpopular cause of all the faeries and rainbows.. But they still had some of the scariest groups of players on our server. You didnt want to run into the on the battlefield. Sure they got their asses handed to them when Albion and Midgard went for their Relics. But they could always get back by teaming up with one of those those to pound on the other.

And so in all the years I played daoc the numerical balance didnt change much.

They did put in mechanics to boost the numerical underdogs, but I never approved of that. But its worth a try for those games that failed to make more than 2 factions. another way to fix that failiure would be to have instanced battlegrounds where only the same number from each side could join. yuck..

Another way to make a game with large scale pvp is make it guild or alliance based. Again you would have more than 2 sides and if someone gets too big the others get jealous and gang up on them to take their goodies. Or they get infiltrated and someone loots their guild vault.. Or some in the big guild get fed up with never getting in a good fight and splits off and attacks thier former guild.

Class ballance is, in my mind a different issue and I wont go into that for now.

 

 

  Death1942

Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/07
Posts: 2596

8/17/09 4:26:09 AM#16

RvR seems to work quite well but for the love of god shove in an extra faction or two.   2 sided conflicts work wonders in games where the outcome isn't all that important (Battlefield, TF2...ect) but is a basic and crappy tug of war game in MMO's that have very little feeling of purpose behind them (no matter what mechanics are shoved in).

 

WAR would have been so epic if it had a 3rd faction in it and lore wise would have made much more sense (imo Undead+Chaos+Dark elves vs Greenskins + Ogres + Khermi +Lizardmen vs the order ) and would have made for a much more enjoyable game.  Also (another problem with WoW) is the restricted zones felt far too restricted.  It was almost as bad as the AoC ones that felt like you were trapped in a little room with nothing to do.  Strategic strongholds overlooking major roads between zones would have been a far better choice than some keep in the middle of a swamp with 0 resources nearby and off the beaten track.

MMO wish list:

-Changeable worlds
-Solid non level based game
-Sharks with lasers attached to their heads

  daelnor

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/16/04
Posts: 1467

 
OP  8/17/09 4:26:38 AM#17
Originally posted by Gyrus
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Gyrus
....

No.  You could design a game with RvR that has no PvP.

How?  Two teams... lets call them "Humans" and "Elves" fighting an AI Bot team... let's call it "Orcs".

The two teams win control points from the Orcs... let's call them "Keeps" and when all the Orc Keeps are taken the winning realm is the one that has the most Keeps.
It is basically a race (true) but it is also RvR.  Not good RvR I admit (and I would never design a game like that myself) but it is RvR all the same.  No PvP required.

I will agree with you however that players expect PvP with their RvR... but exactly how and what mix is still open to debate.

...

 

What you describe is not RvR. I would call it more like PvE-race, but not RvR.

Yes, it's an RvR 'race'.  Which is (technically) still "RvR" isn't it?

It may be a trite example... but I think I have shown that you could have 'RvR' without PvP.  Yeah, the RvR players would hate it... but that's not the point is it?


 

Sounds like a japanese game show :c)

I get your point though.  So what about a PvP game that wasn't faction based RvR type? What would make one of those not suck?  I believe there is HUGE demand for these games..but somehow devs keep dropping the ball on it.  It's either to mini-game ish...or too free for all with no pve content

  WW4BW

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/03/06
Posts: 491

8/17/09 4:29:06 AM#18
Originally posted by tvalentine

RvR kinda sucks imo. I would perfer a more open world where people make their own decisions on who their enemies are. Adding politics and guildvsguild or clanvsclan wars adds much more depth then a RvR war that never ends.


 

I half agree with you. I wouldnt say RvR sucks. But I prefer deciding who I like myself too. There is little worse than not being able to kill some annoying killstealer / camper / spammer / idiot that always ruins your day, just cause he happens to be a member of the same faction as you.

Reminds me of another thing. Why is it all ways called a friends list or buddy list.. most people Ive asked put their enemies there. Well atleast the sort of enemies that you might not ever want to do anything with but might sell stuff cheap or have good intel on enemy movements and as such cant be put on an ignore list. In short I want an "enemy list"

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

8/17/09 4:37:04 AM#19
Originally posted by tvalentine

RvR kinda sucks imo. I would perfer a more open world where people make their own decisions on who their enemies are. Adding politics and guildvsguild or clanvsclan wars adds much more depth then a RvR war that never ends.


 

Any examples of games where player politics and clan/clan fights were particularly good?

While I dig politics in games, I haven't seen a game with particularly freeform player factions.

Maybe Shadowbane had freeform player factions?  I lost interest so quick I never reached those rumored good parts of the game.  Reminded me of L2 - a game who supposedly has alright PVP but whose designers insanely decided to hide it behind the worst PVE they could create.

  WW4BW

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/03/06
Posts: 491

8/17/09 4:40:47 AM#20
Originally posted by daelnor


 

Sounds like a japanese game show :c)

I get your point though.  So what about a PvP game that wasn't faction based RvR type? What would make one of those not suck?  I believe there is HUGE demand for these games..but somehow devs keep dropping the ball on it.  It's either to mini-game ish...or too free for all with no pve content


 

Eve got this partway right. Huge area where you cant fight without being destroyed by the cops. Unless you declare war.

other areas where you can fight sort of freely but would cause you to be unwelcome in the first area. And finally another huge area where you can kill whoever you like as long as you bring more friends or more skill with only you victims left caring what hit them.

And all of this you can do solo, in a group, as a guild, as an alliance or as a coalition of alliances.

Now ofcourse there are other issues in Eve that causes most people to stay in the "secure" area, and leaves the leaves the less secure areas boringly underpopulated or boringly overpopulated by a huge enemy fleet that will vaporize you in seconds. But that is another matter

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