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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Your PvP Preferences

Posted by MikeB Friday April 1 2011 at 12:02PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Do you prefer ffa-pvp everywhere, only consensual, or something in-between?" by mrcalhou. Mrcalhou wants to know your PvP preferences, but let's start with the man of the hour himself! Take it away, Mrcalhou!

I, personally, love Eve-online's pvp system. While it's technically ffa-pvp everywhere, the consequences in many systems makes random pvp happen extremely infrequently in those areas, while pvp is actually encouraged in other parts of the game map.

Lately, however, it seems that a lot of games are coming out where pvp is being forced on the playerbase from the moment they log-in. Now, this isn't necassarily wrong in and of itself, but with the knowledge that it drives away so many potential players, why do developers still do it? These games also never seem to get the consequences for pvp balanced in such a way that there are times when it would make sense, from a strategic perspective, to not attack someone.

While I don't mind consensual pvp, it does take away a good chunk of emergent-characteristics from MMOs and I'm pretty bored with those types of games since they seem to be a dime a dozen.

I'd like to see something in-between: like a game with twitch combat mechanics (though better than what Darkfall and Xsyon offer), but a pvp system where players can play the game and not feel worried about getting ganked all the time, while there would also be content and resources unique to pvp areas to encourage players to go play in those areas.

karat76 prefers the way DAOC did their PvP:

I prefer the DAoC set up. If I wanted to worry about being ganked all the time I would have kept my job at the state prison. FFA does not work mainly due to the casualties of puberty that will grief everyone that comes in. They maybe a minority of the FFA community but they are usually the first people encountered in those type of games. Playing UO and Shadowbane there was not a day that went by when people were not feeding on the newbies. If a gaming community is to survive you have to learn to cut off your own diseased parts.

Miner-2049er is convinced the EVE model works best:

Like many people here I think EVE pretty much has the ultimate model.

The game design should do everything possible to prevent bored people ganking newbies. At the same time the best stuff should be in full-on PvP areas to encourage people to go there.

I think CC is often overpowered. If you are clearly outgunned you should have some chance of actually getting away.  I also think that we should have some ant-ganking tools available, like smoke bombs, or suicide attacks that do high damage to all people in a small radius.

I also think that in any game a group of low level players should be able to work together with a chance of beating the high level attackers. 

Finally, although I like the idea of full loot I think that this should only be implemented in a game where the weight and size of items has an clear and significant effect on your movement and mobility. This would mostly limit you to taking a few items, and if you attacked someone lower level it really wouldn't be worth you while to loot anything.

Otakun isn't entirely convinced on overworld/FFA PvP:

It boils down to the point that FFA OWPvP fits a niche market or in a more common term it doesn't please casual gamers. People who like FFA OWPvP will still play a game without it as long as the PvP is good in general but casual gamers will not play a game with FFA OWPvP cause they will get frustrated and quit.

Personally my problem with FFA OWPvP is that people will generally kill you for no reason other then just to do it and possibly grief you and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it unless you happen to have friends online who care enough to help you. This basically says, "Well, you can play this game unless someone else wants to come around and ruin your day." cause other then sitting around and getting killed over and over your only option is to log off and that is a game that I wont pay for. I wouldn't mind a B2P MMO that has FFA OWPvP cause then I ain't losing money when not playing.

I generally enjoy the ability to hunt other players in PvP, but I don't necessarily need it to be FFA. Factional PvP works fine for me. However, I tend to play on PvP servers even if the game allows you to flag yourself due to the fact that I don't honestly believe that most players will flag themselves willingly. I'd rather endure a few crappy gank situations as it is balanced against the freedom I'm given otherwise.

There are ways around ganking, anyways. Joining a guild with good diplomatic relationships with other guilds is an easy way to marginalize ganking guilds or groups of players, simply playing with your friends is a pretty good strategy too.  I don't consider getting jumped by five other players while I'm rolling around with four other players myself to be a "gank", that's more of a fair fight to me!

My take is, you knew what you were getting into when you signed up for the server, so everyone is kind of in mutual understanding there. That's not to say that gankers that will kill you at any time no matter what (even when you're at low health fighting a mob) aren't jerks, but I expect it and so I just move on with my life when it happens.

What are your MMO PvP preferences? Share your thoughts in the comments below!