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How Can Open PVP fix Static Classes (PVP)?

Posted by vajuras Monday March 10 2008 at 10:11PM
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Earlier I covered Static Classes and there problems with PVP- which is a dynamic activity that Classes are somewhat ill-suited to handle. In real life, there is normally overlap. Engineers in the Aerospace Industry for example are taught over and over again to develop redundant systems and fail safes. That way if one system breaks one of our redundant systems can activate. Engineers are of course trying to anticipate every possible error that can occur and reduce their risks (managers at NASA for instance term this as a Risk Assestment).

In mmorpg space, Classes are somewhat inflexible. In most mmorpg, Warriors are pretty much screwed when confronted by a Mage. This isnt so bad because we're not balanced for 1 versus 1 fights anyway. But if a team of Mages were to fight a Team full of Warriors you see the problem

But there is a simple solution that most mmorpgs have had for many years. I was expecting someone to point this out in my previous entry. Open PVP.

When there is open pvp players can actually optimize their team configurations if they have an "alt" (Alternate Identity). The ability to log onto an alt will allow a team to be able to dynamically adjust to a losing situation.

I was unhappy with my Static Classes article because I failed to point that out. I was mainly focusing on the problems Static Class based games face when they present Battlegrounds content. I really wanted to point out Class based titles should really encourage alts. Dark Age of Camelot I have heard made it much easier to bring up an alt. In City of Heroes we received no such bonus however it was so easy to get an alt up to level 30 for Siren's Call it wasn't so bad. In EVE Online, our alts are our ships.

I think the solution is simple really. Make it easier for players to swap to an alternate role. You can still make them wait but instead of sending them back to the Main UI allow us simply to switch ingame if applicable. Maybe thats a crappy idea but hopefully you feel me.

But if the game is focusing on Battleground / Instances that make pvpers wait in a line to join the fight then you see the issue friends. If I want to get on my alt then I lose my spot in the Instance. Developers (at least Blizzard) should perhaps consider transporting the alt directly into Battlegrounds if logged unto. This way pvpers can optimize their team compositions on-the-fly

Repeat: PVE does not have this problem. Their content is static. All challenges is transparent and known after a few runs through (for the first few guilds before the strategies hit the web).

Now some of you might see why I seemed upset when I found out the Age of Conan developers were adding Capture the Flag. If its implemented with no thought to Team optimization then I forsee a slaughter 24/7 for pubbies when even the least of pvp guilds join (Assumption).

This reminds me- this is why I always have said (Guild Wars) knows their stuff! They dont allow Guilds to fight against PUBs. Even if you somehow cheat the system and create an uber team for the pubbie (public) arenas you'll get bounced out to Hall of Heroes. Brilliant. But of course they dont have different factions but its a good solution to for instanced content.

t0nyd writes:

Im an alt-oholic. I get bored of playing the same class over and over. I love the idea that once you get passed the noob levels, if we had an option to skip those noob levels with an alt. WoW for example, leveling 1-10 felt worthless. It does not feel like you accomplish anything until you finally start spending talents. So why force people to do 1-10 with every character they make.

Tue Mar 11 2008 12:29AM Report
vajuras writes:

Was talking to a DAoC player other day that was telling me once you hit max level you wont have to repeat the noob levels anymore that sounded cool. Yeah same here

Tue Mar 11 2008 2:58AM Report
Nightdragon8 writes:

honestly in WoW in the battlegrounds, it wasn't that fact that we didnt have the classes, it was the fact that no one ever used thos classes ablites. all to often you see preists/shamans/paladins trying to dps rather than heal someone. and yes some of them where healing spec.


Yea static classes aren't good for opimsation and focus more on spiecalization.

Tue Mar 11 2008 7:00AM Report
BadSpock writes:

I've always liked the idea that your first character's achievments should have an impact on any of your alts.

Like if you get to Level 70 in WoW, maybe when you start a new character (of the same faction) you can start out at level.. 20? 30? 40? Yeah, it doesn't matter that the game is fairly easy/quick to level up to that point anyway.

For WoW PvP in battlegrounds, you are right that hodge-podge class balances really take away a lot of the fun. I played one BG where 9/10 people on the other side were rogues or druids. I've never been so frustrated playing WoW lol.

On the same note, I've played games where we had an impressive blend of classes and formed logical groups, coordinated, and absolutely owned the opposition.

Would a class-less system fix these problems? I don't think so. You'd still have to re-level your skills once you swapped out. Unless you made the gains persistent, yet only could have a certain number "active" at once.

If that's the case, it'd be kind of like FFXI's job system. Which I've always thought was a great idea.

Tue Mar 11 2008 9:20AM Report
JB47394 writes:

Here's a thought: have all rewards take the form of Capability Points.  So whether you are doing PvP or PvE, you get those points when you reach a victory condition.  Complete a quest.  Get a kill.  Win a match.  Whatever.  With your points, you are able to build characters.  As many as you like, and each of them uses all the points available.  So if you have 10,000 points, you can make 20 10,000-point characters.  They are your choices for the different ways you want to play the game.

Your allocation of points covers everything that influences your character's abilities.  Skills, spells, talents, attributes, gear, everything.  You can tweak and rebuild at any time that a character is considered idle (no tweaking mid-fight).

Group all the characters into using the same last name and different first names.  So you are your own clan.  That's done to ensure that others recognize who it is that is running the characters, even though one time they'll bump into your leather-clad healer/archer while another time it'll be your unarmored rogue/mage/engineer.

Pickup groups trying to balance their team composition might be a bit laborious, but I assume that players would work it out.  Common builds would come into being.  It might be that builds can even be offered to different team members (there's no limit on the number of builds you can have).  Or there might even be whole team build templates where so long as everyone has enough points, they can fill the slots of that template.

All this is just in response to the idea that players should be able to switch between their alts.  I don't care for that idea because it rewards those who play more.  Casual players are left in the cold because they don't have enough alts.  Instead, create a level playing field.  The points are a disadvantage, but at some point the game can divide battlefields by point ranges.  So if you have 10,000 points, you can enter any battlefield you want, but you can only use 1,000 points in the Thousand Point Field, 2,000 in the Two Thousand Point Field, and 10,000 in the Hundred Thousand Point Field.  Good luck in that last one.

Tue Mar 11 2008 9:45AM Report
t0nyd writes:

You know JB, thats what MMO's are about. They are always about "the player with the most playtime wins", due to absurd gear, etc.

 One day we will stop using WoW as an example for PvP. Its one of the worst PvP systems ever created. Class balance doesnt exist. Rock, Paper, Scissors doesnt really exist, even tho they say it does. With most classes you are forced into specific talents or you cant compete, due to blizzard not making every path useful. WoW is a PvE game, nothing more. Everything about it is balanced for PvE. CloS for example, they added it so rogues could perform better in PvE and they simply dont care about how it fucks up PvP.

Tue Mar 11 2008 11:48AM Report
vajuras writes:

"All this is just in response to the idea that players should be able to switch between their alts. I don't care for that idea because it rewards those who play more. Casual players are left in the cold because they don't have enough alts. Instead, create a level playing field. The points are a disadvantage, but at some point the game can divide battlefields by point ranges"

Well switching between alts is commonplace in other genres. for instance in Battlefield 2142 I have a Medic and Scout Classes unlocked . I dont have an advantage over Casuals because my Class constrains me. A casual can unlock any role they choose and be competitive

Sure, they are way less flexible but they are viable. Of course Battlefield is way less vertical then MMOs so switching to a role you never play is still very effective.

I would say the problem you speak of is already 'optimized out' in pvp centric titles

Tue Mar 11 2008 12:07PM Report writes:
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