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No PvP

Posted by Craig McGregor on Oct 13, 2004  | Comments

No PvP -

Turbine Announced today that there will be no PvP in Dungeons & Dragons Online, their highly anticipated MMORPG based in the official D&D rulebook.  The following post was made in their forums:

Hi Everyone, Since we opened up this site, one of the most-discussed topics has been player vs. player (PvP) gameplay -- will there be PvP in Dungeons & Dragons Online? If so, how will it be implemented? Full-scale PvP areas? PvP servers? Duels? Arenas?

PvP is an important component of many massively-multiplayer games: Asheron?s Call, Shadowbane, WWII Online, Dark Ages of Camelot, and Star Wars Galaxies are a few examples. As such, it's natural that the question be asked about DDO, and it's something that we've thought about since we first started working on this game early last year.

Spurred in part by all of the community discussion, we've gone ahead and made our final decision. I'll go into the details of the decision below, but the short answer is this:

PvP gameplay will not be a part of the initial launch of Dungeons & Dragons Online.

I think we've been pretty clear from the beginning that DDO was never going to be a game with a heavy PvP component. If this wasn't explicitly stated, it's always been there between the lines -- our focus is on party-based adventures, dungeon crawls, a living city, and an epic campaign. Not large-scale PvP combat.

The strongest argument for this decision, in our opinion, is the fact that PnP Dungeons & Dragons has never been a PvP-oriented system.

Yes, we know that the bad guys in D&D can be human sorcerers as easily as they can be, say, owlbears. But in the PnP tradition, that evil sorcerer is played by the DM, not another player. And while PnP sessions that pit characters against each other can be fun for a temporary campaign that lasts one or two sessions, the classic D&D campaign is all about the characters working together (or mostly together) to solve their problems and advance the story.

Now, it's true that some of the problems that exist with excessive player conflict in PnP D&D -- namely, having only one DM for two or more opposing groups of characters -- are not as much of an issue in DDO, where our server acts as the DM for all characters. This is why PvP is something we discussed in depth during the early stages of development.

But the thing that we kept coming back to was that PvP gameplay just doesn't fit our idea of D&D, either in a PnP format or a massively-multiplayer format. We know that some of you are going to disagree with us, but ultimately it was not a good fit for Dungeons & Dragons Online.

So that's our explanation for not having a heavy PvP component. But what about a light PvP component? Just because the primary focus of our game is the PvE campaign, that doesn't mean that we can't have some PvP on the side, right?

We didn't decide on this one until more recently, but the decision ended up being the same -- we aren't going to have duels or arenas in the initial launch either. The primary reason for this is that the D&D rules aren't really balanced for one-on-one fights, and we don't want to have to mess with them in order to make dueling work.

One of our key development mantras is that we're keeping the game specs tight -- we're not doing everything, but what we are doing is going to be really, really good. I really wish that we could be all things to all people (it would make my job a bit easier), but unfortunately we can't. To those of you who were looking forward to PvP in DDO, I sincerely apologize, but we honestly feel that this is the best decision for the game as a whole.

- Xundau

You can view this on the official boards at this link.

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