Recently at SOE Live it was announced that PVP and more was coming to Landmark, and our own Jean Prior was there to give us a preview. This got me excited, so I sought out David Georgeson Director of Development at PAX Prime to get a better understanding on how PVP came about and why it's part of a game that started as a building game. The answers were surprising but make perfect sense.
First we have to account for the fact that the maps are designed as islands for the sociological aspects; they help build communities as people lay claim to areas of an island and call it home. Neighborhoods develop as complex themes across the island. It is a natural progression from cooperation to challenges and competitiveness. Also it was thought “what better way to test abilities of the weapons than to just let people beat up on each other” before introducing dangerous creatures. Since the inception of combat and PVP David remarked “It is interesting how many people are doing PVP in a game that doesn’t generally attract PVP type players.”
So how and where can one PVP? As with most things in Landmark, you will need to lay down a Claim and build. How your Battle Arena looks, feels and functions will be entirely up to you. You will need to have a few items however to turn your claim into a PVP Battle Arena. First you will need a game table which is the object that lets you designate the type of PVP to occur each match. The current modes available are; Death Match (1 vs 1), Team Death Match (You set how many on each team) and Capture and Hold (a Monolith). Another requirement is re-spawn points, at least one for each team, but you could have many to provide random locations to return to the match. You can also place hazardous objects like landmines. Also in PVP mode, some weapons can damage the buildings and terrain which will provide some interesting tactics. Knock a hole in a path that didn’t have one before and watch someone fall through. Never fear though, any damage caused will reset at the end of the match, no need to rebuild every time. A score board comes up at the end of matches letting everyone know how they did.
There are a number of other interesting items available to really change the dynamic of your Battle Arena. Teleportation pads are a set of 2 platforms that you port between. These can be placed in fun ways, on sides of walls causing you to fall, or in the air so you fall out of one and into another or any other hazard. Moving Platforms consists of a platform and two docking stations. Where you place each dock determines the path of the platform. The angle of the dock will affect the angle the moving platform moves, causing it to twist in the air for some interesting effects. Having a platform move across a teleport pad can also cause a player to teleport. Flingers are a spring board pad you place down and then have a small cube to designate the landing spot. The angle of the spring automatically adjusts to have to fly between the two points. You can adjust the strengths, speed of the platforms, arch of the flingers and all kinds of setting to really mix it up. There are already some very interesting chained effects utilizing just these three items. And let’s not forget the hazards you can sprinkle around to create death traps with mines and fall damage. Currently mines only work on a PVP flagged Claim.
To find a claim to get your PVP on, you have a couple of options. Utilizing the map you can look for claims in Red. In the Gallery (part of the store) you can search for available PVP arenas once it has turned on its PVP flagged. In this way players can find each other and quickly get to arenas. You can also rate your favorites and let everyone know a good place to get your battle fix, whether it to participate or just watch. That’s right; spectator mode is coming and when you are in the designated gallery area, you will be also able to toggle your view from open spectator to PVP follow mode. In follow mode you are in the action from one of the players’ perspectives.
Weapons are crafted for now and eventually will be found or earned; each has their own unique abilities and effects on your play-style. Crowd control is very important to the game as Heroic movement allow you to move around a lot. Every weapon has some type of crowd control however there is no healing in the game. Armor regenerates over time when out of combat, when your armor is gone, then you lose health. While each weapon only has two abilities you will also get abilities from armor allowing for mixing and matching. There are also epic weapons like the Fire Sword with crazy flaming effects that can build or stack with other effects. You can switch weapons in combat on a slight a delay. However keep in mind even if you have collected 40 different weapons you will only be able to take a limited set of weapons into a match. This makes you have to plan out your total fighting configuration.
Systems are also being designed to allow for setting prizes for matches and eventually there will be leader boards that may include rewards for participation in PVP events like armor & outfits. You can review the Road Map for all the wonderful things planned for Landmark. There are a number of interesting Arenas that are already complete and more being built daily that you really need to check out. So please excuse me while I see if I can go find me a fight...