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Much Ado About PvP: What us PvPers Really Want, Laced with Personal Opinion

Posted by Naryysys Monday December 17 2007 at 1:00AM
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Before I get started, allow me to say that much of this is biased by my personal opinion on the topic of PvP. I’ve been thinking about the topic lately, and have decided to put what I’ve come to down for those who wish to read it.
            Opinions on PvP are wide and varied, from hardcore perma-deathers to softcore corpse-retrievers, but I think a general rule among those who play MMOs for PvP is this: gear should not decide who wins or who loses a fight. I believe the playerbase is more forgiving to a system in which classes weigh heavily on the outcome of a fight than to a system in which gear gives an insurmountable advantage to a player. I don’t think I have to name any examples of gear-based PvP systems on the market right now, but I would like to mention DAoC as inspiring the point I’m going to make about what I believe is the right way to do PvP.
            Players in DAoC now create things called templates for their characters. In a nutshell, it basically maxes out all the stats of the character, pushing him to the end of his potential. What this little patch of genius means is that gear plays almost no role whatsoever in the outcome of a PvP match in DAoC. Almost everyone in the game is templated if they’re PvPing, and it gives everyone a fairly level playing ground. You have classes which are strong against some classes and weak against others. This is only natural and should be strived for—without this, you would only be able to create classes aesthetically different. I have come to call this the class rule—classes should generally fair better against certain other classes, but that should provide an advantage, not a win, to the player. There is an equilibrium needed here. If the class rule becomes too overbearing, PvP will get stale.
            The beauty of the class rule is that you get a playing experience based more on skill than any other PvP system. To shamelessly plug DAoC once more, many times, battles are decided by which CCer is able to get his or her mezzes off first.  Other times, it’s decided by which healer is able to elude the tanks for the longest.  And yet other times, it’s decided by which team is able to effectively eliminate the other team’s heavy hitters.  There are almost no instances in DAoC in which gear plays a major role in which group is victorious.  Basically, battles aren’t decided by who farmed the most.  I (and I daresay most PvPers out there) believe this makes for a much better PvP experience. Stop telling me who I can fight by the gear they wear, and start telling me that as a cloth wearer, I should be looking for those big, lumbering tanks and trying to avoid those nimble, sneaky stealthers. Stop telling me I should be looking for the guy with the least epics, and start telling me I should be looking for my most opportune moment to pounce. That’s what PvPers want.
            Another slice of genius worth mentioning is AoCs brilliant idea to separate PvP and PvE levels. I think this was a great move by Funcom, and it has really sparked my interest in a game I hadn’t given a look before. Let’s hope that they can continue this sentiment on through to gear. Us PvPers, we’re an odd type. We don’t want to farm, we want to fight. Give us the opportunity to do so without all this raiding hubbub.

Wherefore Art Thou, DAoC?

Posted by Naryysys Monday December 10 2007 at 11:57PM
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           Ahh, Dark Age of Camelot. Some of my fondest memories of MMORPGs come from that game, pre-ToA, of course. What about it was so great? Hard to put my finger on one thing, there were so many. The community (I remember when regional chat used to actually be worth reading..), PvP, hell, even the PvE was great. I’m not sure I’ll ever enjoy another MMO quite so much.
            Mythic defined the great PvP experience for me. After reupping a couple months back, I’m still amazed at the lowbie battlegrounds and, to an even greater extent, the frontiers. Why hasn’t any other MMO learned from Mythic? Why hasn’t Blizzard, having almost admitted to taking the best things from other games and polishing them, implemented this system in World of Warcraft? What, exactly, possessed them to leave out something that almost the entire MMO population has agreed upon? There aren’t many issues for which the playerbase at large can find common ground. I believe DAoC PvP comes about as close as anything else.
But wait, Nary, isn’t Mythic releasing WAR? Won’t it be just like DAoC, only better?
            Sadly, no. While I believe Mythic will incorporate elements of DAoC into WAR, I highly doubt we will see a renewed DAoC. That isn’t to say WAR won’t be great. If Mythic has learned anything from DAoC and have some great new ideas I’m sure it will be a great game.  But I can already tell it won’t have the same feel DAoC had. As they say, the original is always best. For me, WAR will never be able to evoke the same fun DAoC did. Again, that isn’t to say it won’t evoke great fun, it just won’t be the same thing. I still resub every now and then just for the nostalgia factor.

            Looking to the future, here’s to hoping WAR will be another great MMO experience, and to honoring DAoC. I feel, in its prime, it was really one of the greats.

EDIT - Hah at the mistake in the title.  Man, do I feel dumb.

Holy WoW Clones, Batman! Another?!?!

Posted by Naryysys Sunday December 9 2007 at 10:55PM
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Warning:  Contains some language that may not be suitable for kids too young to read.  Oh wait...

There's one thing I'm pretty sure everyone here at (and elsewhere, for that matter) has thought at one time or another (If you haven't had this thought, then you're the guy posting the crap that makes everyone else think this):

Enough already with the "Devs are too afraid to do something that differs from WoW now." 

Warhammer Online promises many different kinds of quests (more often than not directly involving PvP), and entire zones that can literally change hands as an effect of PvP.  They say, time and again, the focus of the game is PvP.  That's about as different from World of Warcraft as the male's genitalia is to the female's.  Age of Conan is aimed at a mature audience and promises realistic visuals and visceral combat.  Again, that comes nowhere near the very stylized visuals in World of Warcraft.  We're talking testicles and vagina here.  Pirates of the Burning Sea..  Need I say more?

Stop bombarding us with useless drivel about how the Devs are too afraid to take risks.  We get that you're an idiot, you don't need to make it any more painfully obvious.  We also don't need you to point out that WAR has Elves, WoW has Elves, so they must be clones.  Nevermind the fact that fantasy settings generally have things such as Dwarves, Swords, Magic, and Elves;  You've got some dreams to crush.  You're on a crusade against all those who think that just because PotBS has pirates, naval combat, swashbuckling, the French, the Spanish, the British, big hats, wenches, and Captain Sparrow look-alikes (you know who you are), it doesn't mean it's not a WoW clone.  Enough, we get it.