Game Dev & PVP


To preface, this is NOT about which type of PvP is better! I just wanted to share some personal musings on the current state of the gaming community and what it might mean for us. We all know that PvP in MMOs, whether we love it or hate it (and we ALL have opinions on it!) is here to stay for the time being. Games in development right now almost all have PvP to some degree, some more organized than others. The PvE only game is practically non-existent. The market is making it clear they want PvP. But what is the answer here? And how do we, as a community, grow with it?

Everyone likes different things, and every major decision for a game’s direction requires a ridiculous amount of thought and analysis. The market doesn’t seem currently have clear winners about successful PvP styles, so it’s an interesting time to be gaming if you’re into the dev market.

Organized PvP, such as WoW, or essentially, PvE, is still very popular. There are battlegrounds, PvP servers (modified this most recent expansion, but you get the idea), etc. Great settings for organized e-sports, but I’m not sure it’s enough for people anymore. PvP in the open world is consensual with no punishment. Still clearly popular, but you don’t see much in the way of dev thinking this is a solid model for the future. For drama purposes, this is the easiest model for OTG chapters to lead, as there is less opportunity for drama.

Realm vs realm, while popular, doesn’t seem to be holding people anymore. They play, they leave; they’re not sticking around for long. I think this was a style that OTG has worked with successfully as far as organization and guild activities. I see this in a lot of dev games still, but the higher # of backers and $ seem to be going for the more open styles.

PvP restrictions by area look to be a popular choice, especially as the market swings slowly from PvE to PvP. Realm v realm was the first step. The next step is to limit resources. The drawback here is the type of player that seems to like to gather and explore is not the type that wants to get jumped while doing it. A lot of risk vs reward with this model. How much PvP is fun for me to gather and craft my wares to sell. There is potential here, but it bores the more serious PvP market. This market segment is most interesting to me. I think all of the caravan ideas out there are amazing. The idea of populating a cart with my favorite crafts, wares and supplies to sell to others, and I love game economics. I’m curious to see what this will become and I see some amazing potential for OTG chapters to really capitalize on this as it allows for a balance of PvP style interests.

Along with open PvP areas, Battle Royale systems are popping up everywhere. I find these to be great fun, but only for short periods of time. My character feels equal and disposable, with the same opportunities as everyone else. It’s fast paced and low risks.

We seem to seeing that open PvP doesn’t work. At least, not without some semblance of moderation. There seems to be a divergence from theme park (guide me, give me quests, give me a path, among other things) to more of a sandbox style of gaming (allow me to create my world and the situations around me, again, among other things). This is allowing the opportunity to create newer, likely better, limitations on an open PvP style that WILL work.

The two balancing acts devs are trying to maintain for open PvP are attacker and attackee punishments. Gone are the days my losing everything to my killer. Also, gone of the days my killer walks off completely free of punishment. Many of the dev games out there right now are testing various degrees of bounty systems, loss of my stuff, and ways to counter ganking. Everyone agrees that 2 people dominating your server and chasing off the rest of your population is only fun to 2 people (and 2 people don’t pay the bills!). Balancing fun and fair is incredibly difficult. This gaming style is going to be the hardest for OTG, and it’s growing in popularity. Games like this take #s, and as a community, we have the least experience with this style of game. There is a lot of potential here.

In the end, most of us are not game developers, and we can only guess at how complicated these issues might be to decide. My vision, vs my pocketbook, vs I want people to play, vs I want to like the game I’ve created. What’s gonna work? How does OTG grow with it?

In the end, I guess what I’m hoping, is that I can encourage discussion about these topics as the gaming community evolves into different types of games. We can learn a lot from these dev games as they try various solutions. What do YOU like? What seems to be working (whether you like it or not), what’s not? What are your favorite games trying and how does the community respond? How can we help build communities for OTG as the population in these games grow?

PS: I know this can be a very heated topic for some. Many of you feel very strongly about this topic, as you should! Clearly, gaming is an important hobby for many of us, and we pay these companies a lot of money and give a lot of our time, in the name of fun and amusement. It’s not uncommon for topics such as this to end up locked. Let’s try to refrain from attacks, but if you must, the TOPIC, not the person making the post. I tossed some personal opinion in here. Many will disagree. So what?! :wink: We’d have a really boring community if we all agreed, and very few games from which to pick!

Think I wrote enough? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: That’ll teach some of you to say I should write something! :memo:

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This is an interesting and very difficult topic. I would say that an additional challenge and consideration for many OTGers is age and it’s effect on our response time and reflexes. That is important in PvE, and sadly, critical in PvP. So when we consider what game is next, or what we think we want if we take the position of a contributing team member, the question quickly becomes “how much can we contribute versus our cost to our fellow guildies if they have to carry us?”
That can be a real concern especially in “twitch” PvP. It is not fixable and your milage may vary but the bottom line is you are going to slow down as you age–like I said not fixable. However, depending on how a game is structured it may be possible to be a contributor by careful consideration of role and toon type selection. So when I look at a game now as opposed to when I played UO for example, I really want to know about balance, tactical positioning on the battlefield and if it is even possible, and end game goals ( as in are they going to be attainable and if so how) Then I look at the question of how I can fit into a guild force and can I survive the game when the guild is not fielding an organized force.
That all being said my response to your post is simply this, the Dev’s do have significant challenges, no question, but so do we .

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Excellent point. I recently damaged a tendon in my wrist. I’ve had to refrain from my normal raid groups exactly because I don’t want to hinder others. Questing alone is fine, because its ok if my response time is slower. I do some limited grouping as well, since it doesn’t last as long. Very valid concerns tho. Maybe we will need to find more of those mature folks at the bottom off our recruitment range (25+ is a HUGE range) to offset the rest of us :wink: Lol!

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I don’t mind PvP, but I don’t outwardly “seek” PvP. I don’t theory-craft builds and spend time researching classes so I think I’m at a disadvantage from the get go. And also in part to what Fin mentioned about reflexes.

I don’t object to PvP, in general. However, many games make it very easy for people to be “ganked”, often repeatedly, by individuals who go out of their way to do it. To be “ganked” is to be PvP killed with little to no chance of putting up a real fight.

There’s no easy way to solve this, but there are ways to mitigate it. In games which have levels, you could limit the attacker so they can’t attack people who are too far below their own level, or too far undergeared. We see such match-making and gating in PvE content all the time, with level and gearscore requirements to do various dungeons.

Essentially, if your victim were an NPC, would you gain experience for killing it? If not, you should’t be able to attack since there’s no challenge.

There’s also a way to mitigate the repeated killing of people by tracking whom you kill and simply not allowing you to fight them again for some time. So if you jump me while I’m harvesting or fighting NPC creatures in the world, and kill me, you can’t just wait for me to come back and do it again. Some time, maybe an hour, has to pass before my character falls off your forbidden list.

I know many people will cry that open world PvP shouldn’t be fair, and that ganking should be a normal consequence… but the game is supposed to be fun for both of us. Being killed while vulnerable is annoying, but shouldn’t ruin my whole evening, which it would if I were spawn-camped or otherwise harassed.

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I game to enjoy the world, progress my characters, craft, and make RL friends. I do group, but I enjoy playing alone (I’m one of those older OTGers with slower reflexes).

I’ve had zero good experiences with PvP, so I strongly dislike it. I either play games that don’t have it, or games that limit it so I do not have to participate.

Always a hard topic to discuss, but generally, I enjoy the sort of organized PvP where gear plays no role, and where not everything is a millisecond decision. Unfortunately there are no games anymore that do that.

There are a couple of things that I absolutely detest, though. As Quix already said, gankers. But also the griefers, and especially those that balance on the edge of the allowable in a game while yelling “But the game allows me to do it!”.

I’ve said it in another forum on a somewhat different topic: The fact the game allows you to be an asshole, doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole.

The only PvP environments I’ve really had fun in were those that were bound by strict rules, and generally with powerful admins, who would not hesitate to ban someone who crossed the griefing/harassment line. But again, those games don’t really exist anymore.

That said, there’s one game with a heavy PvP component I’m actually looking forward to, and that’s Crowfall. Mainly because the PvP there is open world, but only in the worlds that are actually PvP. It’s kind of hard to explain. There are worlds with totally different rulesets, rewards, some are eternal, some are ‘temporary’ (could be months) and can actually be won, with fortresses, minions, etc.

It’s the kind of PvP that I can totally live with, where it’s isolated and optional, but it still has the higher rewards for cooperation.

So many factors involved, but in a lot of ways the slow move towards more PvP and away from PvE only makes sense, just as games in general have moved from single player towards multiplayer. Everything changes, it is the only constant.

Humans are opportunistic primates, we like to interact with others in positive ways, and while we also have a great desire for control, there is a huge boring factor if nothing occurs outside of your control. If only positive things happen, how can you measure the difference? We need some bad things to happen from time to time to help with perspective. The Monster coins are going to be popular.

I think for what Ashes has stated it is working towards, we will get some of almost everything. Team PvP is what the organized PvP seems like it will be primarily, with only certain places that you will find one on one activity. While that may make PvP not be totally optional, it will still be mostly optional.

Control is an illusion in both reality and gaming. The ostrich believes it is in control. The surfer rides the wave that he does not control.