If you play MMOs for PvP then get used to the word Cyrodiil. If you are an Elder Scrolls fans who is joining ESO to PvP, then you may find yourself using the word as a curse or explative. Cyrodiil is the zone where PvP will reign supreme in the Elder Scrolls universe. Never before have we seen players with the skills and abilities in any Elder Scrolls game use them against someone else, and now you will be able too. While the team building ESO has a steep history in MMO PvP, it is really important that they do not get caught up in some of the pitfalls we have seen MMOs do in the past. Today’s column will outline a short list of do’s and don’t’s when it comes to PvP.
Keep Sieges – Don’t
We know attacking castles and laying siege are already major parts of Cyrodiil, however the main reason this is a “Don’t” is because you cannot rely on this mechanic too heavily in your MMO. Keeps where the main focus of Dark Age of Camelot and worked well as objectives for the three factions to attack and take over. However, there was a point of boredom after a while when players were sick of knocking on a door. I get that keeps are a great objective, but they should not be the end all of PvP. This system worked great in DAOC, but failed horribly in Warhammer Online. The main issue going back to stalking the PvP zones for players, not just staring at them on a wall. We know keep sieges are in, they look cool from early footage, but they will not create a full experience for your hardcore PvP player... we want more.
Open Zone Objectives – Do
Along with attacking keeps comes the “Do” of adding in open world objectives for players to attack and fight over. Guild Wars 2 did a great job of adding in caravans and small towns to fight over. This is where the team really needs to think outside the box. Adding in temples, ruins, mazes with objectives in the middle of them; all of these could add up to an amazing battle.
PvP Rewards – Don’t
This one is simple. Don’t make PvP rewards worthless, make them epic. PvP rewards should be on par with dungeon rewards and crafting rewards. All three are created equal under Cyrodiil in the name of Malacath. A short “Do” to add to this is make weekly rewards and have player rankings.
Customized Titles – Do
If I play an Orc and I want to be known as Slayer of the White Claw Tribe. Then give me that ability as a PvP reward. I love unlocking titles for PvP and a top tier custom reward is fantastic. Sure players could put all kinds of bad text in there, but maybe you can build a small system that allows us to edit our rewards with only certain words.
Emperor of Cyrodiil – Don’t
Don’t make Emperor the main reason for AvA. Knowing that a player can become the Emperor of Cyrodiil immediately put crazy expectations out there. Do not fall into a trap worthy of Admiral Akbar. Sure you can become emperor, but honestly think of what it might take to reach that goal. Other MMOs have tried this technique and it never has lived up to the expectations of players. While I am not against the idea of this reward, it is like Ninja Warrior, everyone thinks they can beat the course and only a few will make it to the end.
Yes, that is the messed up dying Skeksi Emperor in The Dark Crystal. That is what you will look like after trying to become Emperor of Cyrodiil.
Darkness Falls - Do
This one is an ode to one of the leads behind the game. Matt Firor had a lot to do with Dark Age of Camelot. Matt is working on Elder Scrolls Online. I will simply say this: Darkness Falls was one of the greatest PvP ideas in any video game ever. Matt, please put this design into ESO. We won’t even expect things to change, we promise, just add it to the game and make everyone super excited. Thanks.
That about sums up my list of “Do’s and Don’ts” for Elder Scrolls Online when it comes to PvP. These types of decisions may seem simple, but many times teams overlook the pitfalls that go with integrating a new system. I do have faith in the team to make a great PvP experience, but at the same time, many MMOs have fallen short on PvP lately. Here is hoping ESO pulls it off with style.