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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Making AvA Thrive

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 14475

OP  3/04/13 5:07:36 PM#1

Three-faction warfare is on the rise in MMOs today including Elder Scrolls Online. In today's column, we take a look at the things that need to happen to make it the best it can be. Read on and then take it to the comments for discussion.

I’m going to try to keep this short and to the point this week. It’s no secret that three-faction PvP is on a bit of a comeback in recent years. With the failure of Mythic’s Warhammer Online to gain traction, a lot of players blamed the two-faction system. After all, it was a far cry from the RvR system of Dark Age of Camelot that so many love and cherish to this day. Now, with the success of Guild Wars 2 and its own take on three-faction warfare, Zenimax’ Elder Scrolls Online seeks to get back to the goodness of DAoC with Matt Firor and many other former Mythic staffers at the helm.  Here then are five things we think the AvA designers should take heed of when preparing ESO’s massive persistent PVP in Cyrodiil.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Elder Scrolls Online: Making AvA Thrive.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Elite Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2425

3/05/13 9:17:42 AM#2

2) so PvE people have to PvP or does it open for PvE people if the PvP people open it?

5) Whiners will come out of the wood work..R, P, S in gaming world seems to just create a world of internet tears.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/19/11
Posts: 689

3/05/13 9:29:45 AM#3
What's an AvA? You kids and your acronyms, drives me nuts.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/10/08
Posts: 1364

3/05/13 9:33:21 AM#4

1. I like the idea of objectives, but not too many as it takes away from the main goals as it is. Relics in this manner, IMO isn t a good idea. Relic system like DAOC made sense. Keep takes make more sense, and defending as well. The more keeps you take, the less guards are at the relic keep to fight. If you take more keeps, taking the relics are easier. Obviously, defending them help your relic defense. I hate the idea, of a million different objectives, outside of what you re actually there for, protecting your fontier.

2. DF like DAOC is what it needs yes. I can almost guarentee something like that will be there.

3. Problem with WAR was it had way too many zones to fight over, and became annoying as hell going from one to the other. A large 1 zone idea will alleviate this alot. I hate the idea of killing a troll, and it s kin help you. Let the fight be there for the players. Too much wildlife is annoying as well. Trying to get to the fight and well you re fighting the whole way there in PVE.

4. See 1.

5. Yes, but each side should be similar in abilities. Ie Nord and Orcs should have similar abilities.  You start giving one side the other doesn t have, people will start freaking out.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/04
Posts: 77

3/05/13 9:37:12 AM#5
Originally posted by sketocafe
What's an AvA? You kids and your acronyms, drives me nuts.

I believe its Army Vs. Army? My best guess.


Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 1843

3/05/13 9:54:15 AM#6
Alliance vs. Alliance.  I'll annotate the column, sorry!

Novice Member

Joined: 6/11/09
Posts: 2

3/05/13 10:03:07 AM#7

My advice on AvA and former Mythic employees:

Just don't carbon copy anything that worked back in the time of DAoC. It were different times and the MMO market changed a lot - and so did the customers. Just throwing some random open PvP maps with different objectives into the fray and hoping that people will bite is not going to happen.

GW2 has shown that it can still work, though.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 2083

May the game be ever in your favor.

3/05/13 10:08:09 AM#8
PvP is so boring in most MMOs that I never get excited until I actually get to try it out.



Novice Member

Joined: 2/09/13
Posts: 95

3/05/13 10:09:22 AM#9

Awesome article, Bill! I agree with most points.

Especially defenders should be - if any - rewarded much better than siegers. But it should not be like "porting to the sieged keep - defending - porting to the next keep - defending - etc". I guess such system would require less wayshrines for keeps.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 56

3/05/13 10:47:17 AM#10

It has already been stated but integrating crafting into the whole mix. Upgrading door and barricades. Arming you guards with better weapons and armor. Even if there some sort of alchemy, potions could be made and acids could be dropped from keeps. Things like this would add some twists and get the crafters involved, ultimately adding to the economy greatly. I would also like to see some cosmetic changes done to keeps over time to make them look like the style of your Alliance. I want to stress over time or over upgrades. This mechanic could be used to know when the keep was last taken just by looking at it. Also style adds to Alliance pride as well. Knowing that this is your keep in your style.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/03/12
Posts: 1865

"I shall take your position into consideration"

3/05/13 10:59:24 AM#11

The article indirectly addresses something I have been thinking about myself.

I was quite curious where the longevity in this game lies. I even made a thread about it.


After considering known aspects of the game (at this point, there still may be new features announced which would have influence on any judgements made now), I think that it really is the PvP itself where the longevity of this game is supposed to be.


You may think it is obvious as the game is heavy PvP oriented, but it does not ultimately mean that the longevity cannot be based in something else, such as gear progression, level progression, skill progression, politics, etc...


If the game wants to be succesful in a longterm, the PvP needs to be interesting in some way and definitely different / better / more innovative than various BGs, Arenas, RvR, etc which are already included in games available in the market.


I do like your tips / ideas for making the PvP more interesting. I think that the way PvP is handled in this game will be key to its success. I believe that even relatively insignificant flaw in the PvP design may break this game's neck as the other aspects of the game besides the PvP does not seem to be so innovative / revolutionary / interesting in order to maintain large playerbase for a long time.


Currently playing: L2 Chronicle 4


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/09
Posts: 156

3/05/13 11:09:54 AM#12

its just not true what Bill is implying here. What we really have are a few devs pushing back to the good old DAOC days. And it is a pipe dream.

In fact there are 100 to 1 people who play mmos not for pvp and especially not for DAOC type pvp but instead for good old open world exploration and questing as well as missioning. This includes housing.

Just because a few devs are trying to bring back realm vs realm pvp as the only real way. It is not going to happen other then a little nisch of dedicated people who have a pipedream that this is the future.

In reality they are doomed to fail and die.

Sorry if i dissappoint your pipe dreams.

And once again ffxiv will shine compared to these DAOC clones in moderen dressing. And making the morrowwind world into a DAOC clone is gonna fail big time of all because the people who actually want to play the came (that is the overwhelming majority) would prefer and open endless seamless world to explore craft etc.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/13
Posts: 381

Will consume your soul, yet stay crunchy in milk

3/05/13 11:21:05 AM#13
Its the 3 (or more) sided warfare that needs to be re-introduced. Not necessarily DAOC as a whole.

Bringer of Eternal Darkness and Despair, but also a Nutritious way to start your Morning.

Games Played: Too Many


Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17765

3/05/13 11:27:41 AM#14
Originally posted by sketocafe
What's an AvA? You kids and your acronyms, drives me nuts.

lol +1 I can never understand what is being said when it's a steady stream of seemingly disjunct letters.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17765

3/05/13 11:29:23 AM#15
Originally posted by fuzzylogic11

It has already been stated but integrating crafting into the whole mix. Upgrading door and barricades. Arming you guards with better weapons and armor. Even if there some sort of alchemy, potions could be made and acids could be dropped from keeps. Things like this would add some twists and get the crafters involved, ultimately adding to the economy greatly. I would also like to see some cosmetic changes done to keeps over time to make them look like the style of your Alliance. I want to stress over time or over upgrades. This mechanic could be used to know when the keep was last taken just by looking at it. Also style adds to Alliance pride as well. Knowing that this is your keep in your style.

I like this. Especially the keeps part.

Pride in ownership. When people look at "the castle on the hill" they need to know that "x group" holds it. Not just that it's changed hands 10 times in the last few hours.



Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/04
Posts: 29

3/05/13 11:45:31 AM#16
Originally posted by coretex666

You may think it is obvious as the game is heavy PvP oriented, but it does not ultimately mean that the longevity cannot be based in something else, such as gear progression, level progression, skill progression, politics, etc... 

I didn't realize ESO was obviously PvP oriented.  I may need to read up more on the game.  Of all i've seen so far it seemed like PvP was a part of it, but that traditional leveling, exploring, crafting, etc. was a bigger part.  Seems like PvP is one of the last things the Elder Scrolls crowd will be looking for when flocking to an Elder Scrolls game.


Seems like PvP causes more problems than it solves when its too heavily involved in a PvE game.  Usually around balancing.  There are few things I hate worse than having my PvE character affected negatively because of some consequence of a PvP change.


As an example, in a PvE game if the Cleric gets a better heal spell i'm happy, because my dungeon runs will go smoother.  If PvP is involved then everyone cries because the Cleric is now "OP".  And the endless cycle of whining between classes begins.


Some PvP is definately fun, but keep it out of my PvE world.  PvE and PvP is not the same as chocolate and peanut butter.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1075

3/05/13 11:49:10 AM#17
Originally posted by sketocafe
What's an AvA? You kids and your acronyms, drives me nuts.

Obviously it's Angels and Airwaves maaaaan.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/20/11
Posts: 90

war is a natural thing for a warrior

3/05/13 12:04:43 PM#18



Can't w8 for this game. I love pve but only good pvp can make ESO last for longer. 

And yes Races and Factions Should Have AvA Strengths



Elite Member

Joined: 5/23/06
Posts: 4089

3/05/13 12:11:59 PM#19
Awesome read, more I find out about this game, the more the DAoC fan in me get excited. I cant wait to see TES turn into the next big thing. I hope they have put thought into the elder game.

Elite Member

Joined: 5/23/06
Posts: 4089

3/05/13 12:13:34 PM#20
Originally posted by Nanfoodle
Awesome read, more I find out about this game, the more the DAoC fan in me get excited. I cant wait to see TES turn into the next big thing. I hope they have put thought into the elder game. Please say you have a large % of devs working on it now!!!!


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