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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Player-vs-Player Systems Examined 152

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the always-unbalanced-and-usually-fun dept.
Brendan Drain over at Massively has an in-depth look at PvP systems in general, using a comparison of two very different games in an attempt to find the ideal. EVE and Age of Conan are two very different games, yet each has their pros and cons to PvP. Is there a perfect middle ground to be had? "EVE Online and Age of Conan are both heavily PvP-oriented MMOs and while they take vastly different approaches to PvP, both approaches are successful in their own way. The high-consequence PvP in EVE leads to infrequent but meaningful conflicts with adrenaline pumping and guns blazing. In contrast, PvP in Conan is a fast-paced fantasy deathmatch where it's as fun to have your head chopped off as to burn someone alive. Where EVE Online would have me biting my nails nervously when attacked, Age of Conan has me laughing as a maniac smashes my head in with two clubs."
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Player-vs-Player Systems Examined

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  • Older PvP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Verteiron (224042) on Monday June 09, 2008 @12:58PM (#23711641) Homepage
    The old Wheel of Time game had the best, most nuanced and complicated deathmatch-style PvP of any game I've ever played.

    As far as modern PvP goes, Guild Wars (for all the PvE problems of late) still has some of the best PvP action around.
    • Re:Older PvP (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sciros (986030) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:16PM (#23711919) Journal
      Guild Wars has a good PVP system as far as "competitive PVP" goes, but it's of no consequence to the players' characters, and that I think is the distinction the story is trying to draw. So, GW falls into the same PVP category as does the Conan MMO in that there is hardly a "death penalty" when killed in PVP, whereas in EVE (as far as I know) there's a significantly bigger one. Maybe not as bad as in Ultima Online, but I think it's felt.

      World of Warcraft, as far as I know, is also much like Guild Wars / Conan in this regard.

      I wonder how Guild Wars 2 is going to approach competitive PVP, given that they don't plan on having a real level cap. Maybe PVP will be even more removed from PVE than it is now, which I don't doubt given the bigger rift ArenaNet keeps on creating (now with the PVP-specific skill settings, etc.).

      • by mweather (1089505)
        PvP-specific skill settings? What is this? Anarchy Online?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'd say Eve is worse than Ultima actually, in regard to the "death penalty". There is just one large difference between PVP in EVE, and UO. You never know. You can go to belts and gank 9 miners in a row.. but that 10th guy.. he could be a sleeper. Just to look at him, he looks like a miner; you see mining laser animations and such.. but thats just one slot. Every other slot on his ship could be custom tailored to do nothing but kill you. You could out-class him in ship size, you could have enough fire
        • by Sciros (986030)
          That's a very particular situation. You're a pirate who has invested everything into a ship that ganks miners. For *your* death penalty to be so brutal is perfectly fair, given your vocation.

          How does it average out, though? I haven't played it, so I'm curious.
    • by cthellis (733202)
      Seriously. I REALLY liked the Wheel of Time system, but sadly their networking was for shit. If only it had been better coded and had gone somewhere...! It would have been interesting to see where it could have gone.

      ...or at least could have been modded. ;-)
    • by kalirion (728907)
      Wheel of Time? Isn't that like saying that Team Fortress or Counter-Strike have good PvP? What I mean is that PvP usually refers to MMO games with persistent characters, at least in my experience. Has the term changed to include ordinary multiplayer games?
  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:03PM (#23711725) Journal
    What's polyvinylpyrrolidine got to do with MMOs?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You talk about heads being chopped off or smashed in with two clubs, and you provide no screenshots?

    Funk dat!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the_humeister (922869)
      Who cares about that? What about the nudity???
    • Bear shamans get the best fatality though. You throw your weapon to the ground, grab them by the neck, tear their head off, throw it away, and pick up your weapon again.
  • Why do MMOs get exclusive rights to the "PvP" concept? I've got this chess board and it has one of the best time-tested PvP systems ever. Turn-based all the way!
    • Because it's in the context of MMO games perhaps? Most of real-life is PvP from a game of football to corporate takeovers to government espionage. Should the article mention all of these examples of PvP?
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:20PM (#23711993)
    any game which incorporates level advancement, gear advancement, or delegates specific abilities to specific classes will always be fundamentally flawed when it comes to pvp.

    differences in level and gear will almost always be the determining factor in the outcome of a pvp encounter, and certain abilities will always be more powerful than others. Since they will be limited to one class or a subset of classes you will always have one class which is "overpowered".

    the only balanced pvp is accomplished through FPS games where everyone has the same abilities, stats, and the ability to equip any weapon in the game.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SBacks (1286786)
      Yes, differences in level and gear make a huge difference in the outcome of a battle. But, in an RPG game, that's sort of the point.

      As for one class having to be "overpowered", that isn't necessarily true. It is possible to balance the different abilities so that no class has an advantage. You can also go with the rock, paper, scissors approach in that every class has another that it overpowers, but also has a class that overpowers it.

      FPS games are usually incredibly well balanced, but even they have some a
      • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:33PM (#23712175)

        As for one class having to be "overpowered", that isn't necessarily true. It is possible to balance the different abilities so that no class has an advantage.
        This is a charming theory but impossible to attain in reality.

        It's like claiming "it is possible to make a drm system which is transparent to 'legitimate' users but actually does stop piracy'.
        • by SBacks (1286786)
          Ok, it might be impossible to make classes perfectly balanced. But, all you have to do is make the classes balanced enough so that any difference in "power" is totally overshadowed by the player's skill.
        • by Kingrames (858416)
          No, it's possible to attain but impossible to prove. Variables outside the scope of the players themselves will always come into account. Line of sight, terrain, weather, girlfriend aggro, fatigue, attention span, playstyle, and all sorts of other things have way more an effect on the outcome of a fight than whether your axe deals +1 damage against cat-people wearing long pants in the summer.
      • by ProppaT (557551) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:45PM (#23712359) Homepage
        The problem in my opinion is that players have the "Diablo" mentality where they want to level every 30 minutes and constantly get new, godly equipment.

        The only way that I really see PvP working correctly is to have a system where leveling isn't the goal, but is a factor. For example, after you complete so many dungeons, explore so many places in the world, have more personal experience playing the game rather than "xp points"...then you advance a level. The level's wouldn't increase your hit points, mana point, etc. Rather they would allow for new, more difficult game content to be unlocked and possibly alter enemy AI to be more difficult and loot to be scaled to be suitable for new encounters. Of course, you would also be able to learn new abilities at the new level that wouldn't necessarily raise your power to a huge degree over the previous levels spells but, instead, would increase your utility and efficiency.

        The key thing that the new levels would do would be to protect low level opponents from being attacked by much higher level opponents. The game would also have to be much more strategy oriented than current games.
        • by Reapy (688651)
          I think that is really the path to having a pvp game where you don't feel cheated out too much, leveling up == more utility.

          Shadowbane with skills made me feel this way. I can max sword skill and hit like a max level, but I sure suck at other things. Same with planetside. I can use this one type of armor, and be a light vehicle driver. Later on I can drive my vehicle, hop out, put on a super max suit, and ground pound with the troops.

          So again, leveling up == more versatility, rather then more power, tends
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I disagree. In guildwars, you have different classes but it's still well balanced; anyways the point is to make team in pvp, which makes the "overpowered" idea irrelevant.

      In starcraft and warcraft3, you also have different forces from which to chose, and they manage (painstakingly) to make it balanced.

      Btw, in guildwars they make weapons and level completly irrelevant too (by caping to an easy-to-reach cap), but they are the only ones I know to do it in an rpg.
      • by daveywest (937112)
        Starcraft is the worst argument you could have made for showing good balance. Top ladder games consistently demonstrated that Zerg were superior to humans or protoss.

        (my nerd creds are shining today, aren't they)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Etrias (1121031)
      Y'know, if you haven't played the game, you can just say so. You don't have to post this and try to convince people that twitch gaming is what you think is the best measure for PvP.

      I cannot say anything about Conan, although it sounds like it would be a laugh. EVE online, though, I can talk about.

      Gear matters in FPS play too, don't say that it doesn't. You try to bring the right weapon to get the job done. Sure, there's some skill there, but chances are the right choice of weapon for the job helps
      • Next time, just don't talk about games you've never played. It's just embarrassing.

        That's not very nice. Also, parent poster said, basically, PVP in MMORPGs is flawed because it takes into account things like level imbalance. You come back and say that Eve does not have any of those issues, but then you say

        . Now, an older player has an advantage over a younger player. Give a younger player the biggest baddest ship he can fly against a seasoned pro in a less capable ship, the pro will come out ahead alm

        • by Tirhakah (1223100)
          Sure sounds a lot like skill/knowledge to me... Should the game be so dumbed down that a newb has an equal chance to beat a pro on any match-up? I don't think any pvp games do that...
        • by fitten (521191) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:23PM (#23712925)
          Not quite... EVE has skills that you train (takes time, but luckily training happens even when you're offline at the same rate it happens if you're online). However, even a two-week old character has the basic capabilities to be effective in PVP even against much 'older' opponents.

          For example, a corporation had declared war on us once and several of us 'older' characters were flying battleships to fight them because of the firepower we needed in combat. However, battleships are slow and aren't necessarily good at 'tackling' (keeping an enemy ship from warping off, usually you need to close with the enemy fast and stick with them to prevent them from simply warping away from the fight). Some of our youngest members flew fast frigates with the sole purpose of tackling the enemy (warp jammers and webifiers to slow down their ships) so the battleships could bring the firepower onto the enemy's ships. Without our young players in tacklers, all of our firepower would have been useless as the enemy would have just warped away. However, since our younger players were able to tackle the enemy ships, our battleships were able to blow up the tackled enemy ships, almost completely due to the fact that our younger players tackled the targets.

          Plus, the way skills work in EVE is that it may take a lot of time to train a skill to the 5th point (the highest any skill can go) but the 5th point only increases the bonus by 25% total (for example, Sharpshooting is 3% increased damage per point, so at 4 points in the skill, you're at 12% additional damage and at the 5th point, you have 15% bonus damage. However, going from 1 point in the skill to 4 points in the skill may take you a total of 5-ish days. The 5th point alone may take 20+ days to complete - of real time...)*. Plus, there are many skills that apply to only certain things. Battleship skill, for example, doesn't help you at all if you're flying something other than a battleship class vessel. If you have Battleship 5 and are flying a cruiser, that 40+ days that you used to train Battleship 1-5 doesn't give you *any* benefit for flying the cruiser. So, while character age does give you an idea of the versitility of a particular character, it isn't the end-all, be-all measurement of how powerful the character is.

          *Skill progression in EVE is that each point costs 5x the real-time of the previous point. If the first point of a skill takes 1 hour to learn, the 2nd will take 5 hours, the 3rd will take 25 hours, the fourth will take 100 hours, and the 5th will take 500 hours. The bonuses for each point is linear, each point gives the same amount of bonus more. For example, if the 1st point gave you a 5% bonus, the 2nd point will give you 5% more bonus for a total of 10%, the 3rd will give a total of 15%, 4th is 20%, and 5th is 25%. A good thing to remember is that you can train 131 hours per 4 points in a skill like the one mentione before... you can train four skills to the 4th point in just a little longer as training that one 5th point for the skill. Sometimes it's better to have five skills at the 4th point than it is to have one skill at the 5th point.
        • by moz13 (673277)

          Sure sounds a lot like levels to me, except that your level is associated with time youve spent in game...

          As bad as Etrias is at describing EVE, and indeed probably referred to the skill system, in a given ship a younger player is able to specialize relatively quickly. Once your skills are trained to a reasonable level PvP in EVE comes down to your ship's fitting as well as the gang's makeup. That said, EVE has several balance problems (like Titans) but these are not limited to PvP alone. But this thread's parent sounds like an FPS/Guild Wars junkie who uses "flawed" in an ambiguous way.

          • by Etrias (1121031)
            Heh, it's hard to encapsulate the game in a short post between things you're doing at work. :D
        • by Etrias (1121031)

          Next time, just don't talk about games you've never played. It's just embarrassing.

          That's not very nice. Also, parent poster said, basically, PVP in MMORPGs is flawed because it takes into account things like level imbalance. You come back and say that Eve does not have any of those issues, but then you say.

          Now, an older player has an advantage over a younger player. Give a younger player the biggest baddest ship he can fly against a seasoned pro in a less capable ship, the pro will come out ahead almost every time.

          Sure sounds a lot like levels to me, except that your level is associated with time youve spent in game...

          I'm not trying to be nice. I'm trying to point out how ridiculous the OP sounded when he talks about balance in PvP when he's never played the game. You've not played EVE either I take it. So, I'll be nice on this.

          There are no levels in EVE. There are skills. There are so many skills, it would be impossible to master them all. However, a new player can come into the game, train a few skills and be an important part of a group, perhaps the most vital part of that group. As a player, you can spread around your skills, be a jack of all trades, or you can focus and master a few things relatively quickly. Hate them or love them, Goonswarm proved that a bunch of cheap ships flown well can usually be devastating against large, well-armed ships. Actually, other responses to this are more eloquent than I'm being about the skill system, so I will refer you to them.

          Now how does an older player have an advantage? Is it because he has a large ship or because he has the experience to use the skills he has? How is this much different than an FPS in that sense? An older player in an FPS knows each weapon, knows the maps, knows where to go and what to do. It's almost as if you are suggesting that I discount experience for the sake of some weird "balance". The OP was talking about how FPS was the only true measure of PvP skill because the weapons were all the same. I make the point that it's a rather narrow definition because 1) he's never played EVE and 2) there are other types of PvP other than simple pew-pew.

          My example that I gave is that even though a player has a bigger and possibly better ship and weapons, it does not mean that they will win the fight, plain and simple. I do not see any other arguments to the other points I made, so I'll assume you agree with those.

        • by quanticle (843097)

          Sure sounds a lot like levels to me, except that your level is associated with time youve spent in game...

          Not really. He's saying that an older player is more likely to know his options and the available strategies, and will be able to use that knowledge against the newbie. The same thing applies in all games. In Starcraft for example, figuring out a good build order can help immensely, and the ability to multitask effectively only comes with time. In FPS games, the ability to circle strafe and aim effectively at moving targets also takes time to build up.

          Even board games require time and experience. Ta

    • Play Eve (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wee (17189) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:54PM (#23712511)
      Eve's pvp is very nice. There are no "classes", but there are different ships. And there are different mods to fit on those ships. I'd say that 70% of the outcome of any pvp is decided when the pilot is fitting his ship.

      And that's what makes the pvp great: it take real-life skill to figure out what ship fits work best. And that has nothing to do with time spent in game. You can be in the game for 3-4 weeks and have a very nice pvp rig capable of taking on players 3, 4 years old (as long as the ships themselves are comparable). I've seen some really clever fits from newbies. And I've seen some crap fits from older players.

      Once you have the ship fitted out for its intended role, then it comes down to player skill. The tactics you use in a fight make up the other 30% of the chances of success in pvp.

      The best part about pvp in eve, though, is the finality of it. If you get a ship blown up, that's it, it's gone. Some of the mods might survive, but for the most part it's over. It makes for a very exciting time.

      -B

      • by DerWulf (782458)
        I'd play eve if it wasn't for the stupid auto targeting. There is just no excuse for it. Dice rolls are an appropriate mechanism if you can't adequately implement a combat mechanic but shooting lasers, missiles, etc in space has been done as early as X-Wing. Every time I try EVE I'm reminded of the fun I had in X-Wing and get sad how I can't find any of it in EVE ....
      • by brkello (642429)
        And by skill, you mean their ability to go on the forums and read how to equip a ship. The worst part about Eve PvP is the finality of it. It makes people not take risks. So 95% PvP ends up being herds of people waiting at gates to kill you when you fly in. Big battles happen rarely and often the result is determined by who has the least players lag out. Theoretically, Eve's pvp is appealing. In practice it isn't very fun. And once you lose your ship you get to do Eve's version of the grind. Mission
    • by vertinox (846076)
      any game which incorporates level advancement, gear advancement, or delegates specific abilities to specific classes will always be fundamentally flawed when it comes to pvp.

      I've pondered this myself and have thought the best solution for a balanced PVP would simply to give the player the ability to create a end game player from the get go.

      Say give the player 1500 points which he can build a character and purchase skills, abilities, and stats (similar to a Warhammer 40K or Fantasy Battle Game) where in theo
    • by Avatar8 (748465)
      I agree completely, but from a different perspective.

      PvP has no place in MMORPGs. The fundamental designs of exploration, achievement and socialization are contradictory to PvP. The first three have to do with making progress or friends.

      I agree gear and levels have too much impact on PvP. Skill can only overcome so much. IMO every player entering a PvP zone/arena should be normalized so that everyone is equal. That way all those PvPers clamoring that they play PvP for a fair fight and the challenge of a

      • What makes the PvE player's wasting time killing pixels somehow superior to the PvP player's wasting time killing pixels?

        Glass houses and stones and all that.
        • by Avatar8 (748465)
          PvE players are only wasting their *own* time. That's considered entertainment about the same as watching TV. PvP is wasting other peoples' time and in non-consensual play, forcing others to change their play style as well as having their time wasted.
          • PvE players are only wasting their *own* time. That's considered entertainment about the same as watching TV. PvP is wasting other peoples' time and in non-consensual play, forcing others to change their play style as well as having their time wasted.

            Incorrect. By choosing to play a game that allows for this kind of PvP, they've already consented.

            No one wants to get broken bones, but if you're a pro tackle football player, that risk comes with the territory. There's less violent/dangerous options out ther
    • by garylian (870843)
      Bingo!

      Of course, there is another point to PvP being fundamentally flawed when it comes to MMOs...

      There is also the problem of the fact that zerg tactics can and do work in the regular game world with alarming frequency, and the inherent base human behavior of "mob rules".

      Even in WoW on the PvE servers, you saw a definite move towards "might makes right" type behavior, especially at the Crossroads. There wasn't a night that went by once the so-called "honor system" was put in that the Alliance didn't swarm
    • by tknd (979052)

      Since they will be limited to one class or a subset of classes you will always have one class which is "overpowered".

      Yeah but I think anyone looking for PvP (more clearly 1v1 free for all) will either end up being too abusive (everyone is my enemy) or too hard to balance. It starts to get interesting when you change the dynamics from 1v1 to say... 2v2 or 5v5, or 100v100.

      I can't say much about the games described but I have experience of playing daoc for a few years. Daoc never implemented a good and balanced PvP system (everyone can be your enemy) but did implement probably the most successful "RvR" system. RvR is b

  • Back in the day when I played Runescape, pvp was absolutely ridiculously stupid beyond words. Everyone threw logical, nice builds out the window for pvp optimized, basically cheating characters. They'd appear to be an overall level of like 60 when they like lvl 90 in just one skill that they used to kick your ass. The area where pvp was allowed was pretty much just someone regular characters couldn't go. It completely ruined the game but even if they made that system fair, you drop all but your 3 most v
    • by quanticle (843097)

      Heh. I too played Runescape, and I can say that the one thing that kept me in the game, even when it had been overrun by grade-schoolers, was the finality of PvP death. Hell, I remember when you lost everything you were carrying when you died in PvP. It added risk and adventure to the game, and kept it engaging.

      They'd appear to be an overall level of like 60 when they like lvl 90 in just one skill that they used to kick your ass.

      So? Them's the breaks. As long as they built up those skills legitimately without cracking the system in some way, I don't see any problems with a strategy like that. It sounds like you're w

  • Ultima Online (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Robert1 (513674) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:33PM (#23712177) Homepage
    Hands down, UO had the best PVP. No modern mmo has yet to top it. The consequence of death - lose everything on your person. EVERYTHING. Its only when you have true consequences like that that people start taking PVP seriously. Its the only game where you can be hunted by two guys as you run through the woods and your heart is RACING in real life because you desperately don't want to die.

    Everyone in that game had a macro for hide, you would spam it as you fled from a battle. Or better yet if you had UO extreme you had your emergency recall button, to make fast getaways before you were slaughtered. I have dozens of great stories in UO of back and forth PVP fighting, murdering, stealing houses and actually having an impact on other players. Its lame as shit when my friends play WoW and try to impress me with their PVP stories, none of which are interesting in the least bit, none of which have any lasting repercussions, and none of which hold the attention of the listener, unless you happen to play WoW. I'd tell my non- gamer friends some of my exploits in UO and they'd always get a good laugh out of it. All I ever get out of hearing WoW stories is total boredom, sometimes to the point that I can't help but mock them for being so into something so dreadfully unexciting.

    Who can forget shit like running into someone between towns, paralyzing them, surrounding them with walls, and casting an elemental inside the death-box you created. Or going into the mining area where the RPers hang out, working on their blacksmithing. Casting an energy field on the exit of the mines and telling a group of 9 of them that you're going to murder them all. Watching as they scramble to exit the mine, only to see it sealed off as you go to town on them. For good measure you kill their pack animals too. Having huge battles in front of rival guild houses, the moment a guy drops everyone swarming the corpse and completely looting it of all its items. Taking down a guy with a tame White Wyrm walking around outside town, thinking he's hot shit. As the Wyrm is slowly killed he pleads with his attackers to stop and constantly spams "a follow" to get the creature into town and safety. Watching him whine and put up a fight out of anger for losing his prized possession, only to be cut down. And finally, kicking someone's ass so bad, making him lose such good items/so many reagents that the guy in his vitriol follows you around as a ghost just spamming your screen with lines and lines of OoooOoOOOOooo because he has no other recourse. Or even better, up and quitting the game because his loss was so devastating.

    That's real PVP.
    • by fitten (521191)
      You should play EVE some, then. The only difference is that you'll need some friends with you to pull off some things (like locking a system down).
      • by MobyDisk (75490)
        Although EVE gets my blood pumping, it doesn't really allow for spectators. The game is almost a text adventure game in that aspect. And fighting generally takes place in areas reserved for PvP where regular players won't go. So it will never be as exciting as what this guy describes in UO.
        • by cowscows (103644)
          Especially in a game where death has significant consequences, there really needs to be areas safe from PVP. Or else it wouldn't really be possible for new players to come in and participate in any way. That's the problem with having such a high stakes game. Older players can grief the hell out of newbies, and the newbies get left with absolutely no recourse. Sure, it's fun for the people who've been building their skills since day one, but making the game impossible for new players is a good way to have yo
        • Reserved for PVP? There are areas that are essentially reserved for dedicated solo players, and organized groups. No area is reserved for PVP.

          PVP goes where ever the hell players are willing to lose ships.
        • The game is almost a text adventure game in that aspect. And fighting generally takes place in areas reserved for PvP where regular players won't go
          Have you ever played EVE? Neither of these statements is even remotely true.
    • by jythie (914043)
      Bah. Real PvP is when you die and loose your character.

      EvE was written by UO PvPers, which explains why it is a grief heavy game. So much potential in EvE,.. ruined by side blinders.
    • Re:Ultima Online (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:56PM (#23712531)
      Ah yes. Griefing and being a general asshole just because you can is what TRULY defines PvP.

      *rolls eyes*
      • Some people are just douchebags. He's no doubt run everyone off from the other games he played and is disappointed he can't make people quit WoW with his douchery.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Or even better, up and quitting the game because his loss was so devastating."

      And that's what people did, which is why they changed UO, and is why no one else has ever done that again.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Bieeanda (961632)
        Yup. I remember the huge stealing nerf that came down, and one of the commentators at Lum the Mad summed the cause up as: "Thieves couldn't keep it in their pants." The same principle applied to open PVP there too, which is why the open PVP regions turned into ghost towns as soon as the PVE-only regions opened. The gate-gank squads that surrounded the gateways between PVE and PVP lands certainly didn't do their cause any help.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Broken scope (973885)
      ummm

      You pretty much just described eve. Except you don't loose all the skills that took you 2 years of constant training(Assuming your clone level is high enough and you remembered to install a new one last time you died).

      Who can forget shit like the guy who just bought himself a shiny new carrier decked it out in faction mods, undocked and before he could use the jump drive to get to a friendly system, a recon ship pops a cyno and 20 enemy caps jump in and he gets locked down to far from the station to red
    • by edremy (36408) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:16PM (#23712827) Journal
      So in other words you're a bully. You like to sneak up on people working on a task and kick their sand castle over just because you can. Given that you're taking on 9 people at once and are assured of the outcome, I assume they are 20+ levels below you? I bet it's even better when they get a good lag spike and can't fight back at all, right?

      That's PvP alright. It's also why I don't play UO or similar games- I have a life, and so can't compete with a bunch of 14-year-old, 12+ hour-a-day playtime gankers and spawn campers who enjoy ruining the experience for others simple to prove how l33t they are. I get it, you're better than me at the game. That's nice, but I'm not going to play a game where I have to be the hardest of hardcore to even be allowed to join.

      People like you are *why* WoW has 10 million+ subscribers and none of the MMOs catering to the hardcore PvP crowd have gone anywhere at all. (Ok, EVE seems to be doing fairly well)

      • Eve does provide "carebears" a place to go, and rewards pvp's and miners/indies for working together.

        I think that is why it has worked.
      • by Robert1 (513674)
        UO doesn't have levels. Those blacksmiths could train their swordsmanship or magic or whatever to defend themselves.

        UO also has a well balanced and intricate murderer system - i.e. if you are a murderer anyone can attack you on sight and you are unable to go into towns or are killed on sight by town guards. Just like the real world, there's nothing stopping someone from killing just because they want to. But also like in the real world - and unlike every mmo out there - there are actual long term consequenc
        • by Avatar8 (748465) on Monday June 09, 2008 @05:37PM (#23716075)

          UO doesn't have levels. Those blacksmiths could train their swordsmanship or magic or whatever to defend themselves.
          That was counter-productive and did not work in the system. If you had a GM crafting skill (say 100 blacksmithing), you had to dedicate the other 600 points to combat and you still could not be as effective as a full 700 point combat player. The most effective and productive crafters were all crafting and gathering skills and were therefore easy victims.

          UO also has a well balanced and intricate murderer system - i.e. if you are a murderer anyone can attack you on sight and you are unable to go into towns or are killed on sight by town guards.
          That was only after the first two years. Prior to the karma system and Trammel, there was no way to identify or strike back at a PK except to travel in groups of combat-skilled players.

          There were no spawn campers in UO because there were no spawns.
          You must not have played much. There was a spot outside my house near Wrong where ettins would spawn on a regular basis. UO used a resource per grid system. Every x minutes the grid was checked. If it did not contain a certain number of monster(s) and resources they would be spawned. With the solid coverage of houses, the spawn points became 'cornered' and easily predictable. Furthermore, the dungeons were not instanced, so it was a matter of first come, first kill. People fought constantly to get boss kills.

          Those 10 million people, if they knew how much fun UO was - I can't attest to its current form - would switch in an instant.
          I was one of the 250k subscribers of UO from 10/7/97 until 3/15/05. I suffered through the PKs, prospered despite them and played five characters on Baja. I canceled my account after playing WoW beta. I sold my account a few months later to someone still grasping that UO would survive. I'm still in contact with several of my UO friends. Very few miss it over WoW. UO was a good start to MMO's, but they missed some major points, mainly about letting *everyone,* not just PvPers play the way they want to play.
        • WoW has 10 million subscribers for reasons other than people who kill other people. I won't go into it but its pretty obvious why WoW is successful. Those 10 million people, if they knew how much fun UO was - I can't attest to its current form - would switch in an instant.

          I don't think this is true. A lot, lot more gamers are looking for a more casual game. The kind they can play while watching "Grey's Anatomy" at the same time and if they screw up and die, hey, no big deal.

          For every hundred guys on WoW w
      • by brkello (642429)
        Depends how you define fairly well. Eve is doing fairly well compared to WoW in the sense that John Edwards did fairly well to Obama.
    • And that "fantastic PVP" was a major reason why UO was left in rot. When newer games came along with fancier presentations, the only thing UO had left was its rules which wasn't enough to keep many. Many games that have come afterwards and tried to push these sort of free formed anarchy systems tend to do rather poorly. I too played UO and abandoned it immediately when Everquest released because I recognized the lack of general rules of engagement on all "shards" was going to attract a certain gamer popu
      • Not to mention its the only game I've ever played where a corp i was in 2 years ago still prevents other corps from letting me join.

        They really weren't kidding when they told me it was the last corp I'd ever join.
        • by khallow (566160)
          What's the name of this corp? Just curious of course.
          • The char, who is now an alt used for research and manufacture, was a little bee. People still raise eyebrows over it. So I keep him queitly tucked away making iskies.
            • by khallow (566160)

              The char, who is now an alt used for research and manufacture, was a little bee.
              Say no more. I understand the delicate nature of your condition now. :-) Still I'm surprised that it raises eyebrows so much. I guess years of quality smacktalk is more effective a weapon than I thought it was.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sanjacguy (908392)

      Who can forget shit like running into someone between towns, paralyzing them, surrounding them with walls, and casting an elemental inside the death-box you created. Or going into the mining area where the RPers hang out, working on their blacksmithing. Casting an energy field on the exit of the mines and telling a group of 9 of them that you're going to murder them all. Watching as they scramble to exit the mine, only to see it sealed off as you go to town on them. For good measure you kill their pack animals too. Having huge battles in front of rival guild houses, the moment a guy drops everyone swarming the corpse and completely looting it of all its items. Taking down a guy with a tame White Wyrm walking around outside town, thinking he's hot shit. As the Wyrm is slowly killed he pleads with his attackers to stop and constantly spams "a follow" to get the creature into town and safety. Watching him whine and put up a fight out of anger for losing his prized possession, only to be cut down. And finally, kicking someone's ass so bad, making him lose such good items/so many reagents that the guy in his vitriol follows you around as a ghost just spamming your screen with lines and lines of OoooOoOOOOooo because he has no other recourse. Or even better, up and quitting the game because his loss was so devastating. That's real PVP.

      Wow that sounds totally awesome!! And maybe I'm crazy but I'd rather have a root canal than suffer through that crap. I play WoW on a RP-PVP server, and my guild practices world PvP - if I were to describe our policies, it'd boil down to Wil Wheaton's "Don't Be A Dick". We let our opponents corpse run, regroup, and then we have at each other. Why do all that sportsmanship stuff? Cause it's to further world PvP. To get the opponents to come out and play.

      I realize I'm weird, but I'd rather fight in

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      You'd probably like EvE then. When you get assploded, you lose all your stuff. You can get yourself outfit for PvP almost immediately and a swarm of noobs CAN actually drop the most elite guy in the game if the elite guy doesn't have backup. Contrast with WoW, where a level 70 can destroy a more or less infinite number of lower level characters without breaking a sweat.

      UO was very similar to EvE in a lot of respects. Back when it first started up, getting a single skill to grand master level was a feat th

    • by Achoi77 (669484)

      and how popular did UO become from that type of gameplay? I'm not about to criticise the pvp system in UO, I used to play UO before Coster implemented Chaos and Order, but getting constantly ganked was a PITA, and the majority of the intial subscribers felt that way too.

      So much so that when OWO went over to EA the servers were split into both pvp and pve servers to appease both demographics. And if I recall the pvp servers were a bit on the empty side. From a player perspective the UO pvp was (to coin a po

    • UO also showed everything wrong with PvP. I was there on day one and even before. If it wasn't a new exploit to gank people each week it must have been because servers were down too much to matter.

      Romanticize about it all you want but the real problem was that anarchy does not make a good mmorpg. That what it was for a big amount of time. Insta kill guards didn't help as many knew ways to exploit that and get unsuspecting players ganked by guards. Look, it does not parallel the real world because there
    • by Avatar8 (748465)
      "Remember torturing puppies, stealing money from your mom's purse and pissing in the neighbor's pool? Man we were so 733t!!!!111"

      Congratulations. You and your PvP jerk friends finally won. You drove so many people away from UO it was too late to save the game when PvP-choice play (Trammel) was created. You and your kind killed UO because you wanted the freedom to be anti-social pricks who robbed players of hours of effort. A GM sword/tactics master killing a GM miner. Ooh, big challenge.

      Are you still pla

    • Wait, so the best system is where unwilling people are forced into (unwinnable) PVP situations? And they lose hours of progress? I'm not sure I could be quite as antisocial as you.

      It must have been hilarious when Trammel was released. Wish I was around for that.
      • by Avatar8 (748465)
        Obviously, this from the PvP/PKer's point of view. :-)


        It was rather hilarious. On the boards, at the conventions and at RL events, we mostly heard about PvP this and PvP that. You'd have thought that UO was designed to be a PvP paradise and the total population were PvPers. When Trammel opened, an average 80% of the population of each shard moved to Trammel, the non-PvP side.

        The masses spoke and said "we will not play your way." Obviously, PvPers are simply more vocal.

        • by garylian (870843)
          I remember all that screaming, and you still hear most of the UO fanbois claim that it was the death of the game.

          In a way, they were correct. The only people that were playing UO at the time Trammel came out were mostly the hardcore PvP crowd. UO was dying a very painful death already, and the Devs were making a desperate move to stave off their loses to AC and EQ. It was way to late, however.

          But yes, I saw the lack of players on the "dark side". I re-opened my account in the hopes that the game would b
    • by bartok (111886)
      Amen, I have a lot of nostalgia for UO pks'.
    • by DerWulf (782458)
      You are a sadist, I hope you are aware. Your post made me a little sad as well. There is enough of this type of PvP to be had in the real world. Thing is, it's only fun for the griever.

      It's a zero sum game and when karma comes back around everybody ends up being the looser. Games are supposed to be fun even to those who don't win in a competitive setting.
    • by brkello (642429)
      "Real PvP" only appeals to a small set of people. These are generally the griefer types who do anything to win and enjoy ruining the experience for others. In your PvP, people don't want to do anything risky and most people play it safe. When consequences are less severe, instead of running, you turn around and fight and try to beat the odds of the other person catching you at a disadvantage. In other words, more people are actually willing to participate in PvP and it is more enjoyable for people. Yea
    • Unfortunately, all of the pvp in UO, including all of the things you describe, was done through boring mechanics. Combat was extremely simple and not very interesting. Getting killed in UO was like having someone come to your office and delete a spreadsheet you've been working on for a few days. Yes, you really really don't want it deleted, but no, it's not an engaging experience, pressing the delete key.

      I played UO from literally day one, and it taught me that consequences don't matter nearly as much as
  • For me, the real pinnacle of Skill vs. Stat PVP continues to be Planetside.

    The "Death Penalty" was measured not in the player's individual stats, but in the strength of the defending/attacking army. Thus one individual would not change the course of events, and would not be ruined by a single death, but the cumulative effect of a bad plan usually lead to the loss of an entire continent. Once that happened, *everyone* took the express bus back to Loserville, which meant that a bigger fight for territory wa
    • by Reapy (688651)
      Agreed 100%. It's funny planetside messed itself up backwards. They gave you a perfect system to play in (early on anyways), and a horrible sandbox to play in. I think i quit solely based on the fact that every base looked the same, and then they rubber stamped the same 5 bases on every continent. Then they did a poor job having a reason for you to fight on all the nice terrain they made, so essentially they drew you in to be fighting over the same set of gray walls and corridors every time.

      Sadly, all of my
  • WoW versus Eve (Score:5, Informative)

    by GoNINzo (32266) <GoNINzo@nOSpaM.yahoo.com> on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:42PM (#23713173) Homepage Journal
    I think that the disparity between PVP in different MMOs cannot be more different between Eve Online and World of Warcraft, actually. Age of Conan isn't that different but it's not quite as different. Plus, half the content is not even there yet.

    In World of Warcraft, PVP is common on PVP servers, but it doesn't have any downside other than lost time. If you die 4 times because someone is being an asshole to you, then that's it, you lose the 20 minutes it takes to corpse run a couple times, and then you go on your way. Occasionally, your death might be to a mob, and then you have a 10% damage bill, so maybe a gold or three, no big deal usually for your level. Or, if you join a PVE server, you can opt out of PVP entirely, and never fight a single other player. You also have the option of fighting in the cross realm PVP areas, but you have to horde to win anything really. It's pretty unbalanced most of the time, with known requirements for what makes a good PVP team. In the end: Massive amounts of time and practice.

    In Eve Online, PVP is inherent to the game. You can carebear in empire, and avoid the fringes of society, but occasionally a good marketing deal or a mission might take you into at least low sec. Even if you're flying an interceptor with warp and inertial stabs, you can be grabbed by a broadsword getting sensor boosted and infinite warp scrambling. Hell, those things can grab pods with enough people boosting them. And then everything you had on you, gone. You make a mistake in empire and grab a can you shouldn't have, someone aggros you, and you're gone. You join someone's gang to a mission, they have a war target after them, you're gone. You get deceived by someone, suck it up and deal princess.

    Life in general in WoW is pretty mild on the low end. But Eve is all around brutal to people. Even if you play it safe 100% of the time, there are chances for something going horribly wrong. Plus, the one-universe view of Eve, and the TIME it takes to make a good character... If you have someone who wants to grief you hard, you cannot start over easily in Eve. You have to sacrifice a LOT if someone has it out for you. In WoW, you switch servers, make a new character, in a month you're running around at a high level doing the same things over again.

    WoW is like going to any corporate theme park, their goal is to make you have fun, and even if you're upset by something, you waste some time, and you get your money back in the end. Eve Online is like going to downtown in a major city, and if you happen to get mugged, then you better not be carrying much money. Oh yeah, and the cops don't care if they didn't see it happen. And there are some areas you should just avoid entirely.

    I've lived in 0.0 for a year at a time in Eve and have a Kara keyed Wow character, so I've been around. But this factional warfare thing that Eve is doing? Yeah, the low sec piracy is going to get worse and worse because of it. Should be fun. That is, if you don't mind the occasional loss of a couple months of work.
    • You join someone's gang to a mission, they have a war target after them, you're gone.
      This is getting changed in today's patch, unfortunately.

      Should be funny watching the forum whines from all the folks who use this but didn't take the time to read the patch notes.
    • See, this is why I've almost completely given up MMO's. Game's aren't supposed to be realistic. Fundamentally, they're supposed to be fun. Some sense of connection to reality as we know it can certainly help a game out. I tried Eve for a little while. I gave it up pretty quick, because I saw what that games becomes pretty quick. . . a second job. I play games when I'm not working, because I don't want to work. If I wanted to work more, I'd make *real* money by working a *real* job. Eve (and most MMOs) seeme
    • by zerocool^ (112121)

      I've lived in 0.0 for a year at a time in Eve and have a Kara keyed Wow character, so I've been around. But this factional warfare thing that Eve is doing? Yeah, the low sec piracy is going to get worse and worse because of it. Should be fun. That is, if you don't mind the occasional loss of a couple months of work.

      Woot, patch day. I should have T2 Sentries for my Moros on the flip side of it; maybe I'll camp some stations in low sec, near where the agents are.

      ~Wx
  • by Nyphur (514992)
    I wrote that article :D. I've always wanted to be slashdotted. I think the major downfall of PvP-based MMOs is the opt-in system that they tend to choose. Being able to choose not to play in a PvP server creates something an old EVE player once told me about called the cowboy effect. You end up with a server full of cowboys and nobody to play the indians. That is, the only people in the PvP servers are predators and they have no prey. The idea of being able to completely overwhelm someone who's not prepa
    • by Nyphur (514992)
      Appologies for that wall of text, my carraige returns didn't appear to work.
      • by Avatar8 (748465)
        This is HTML.


        You have to enter paragraphs 'less than p greater than' or breaks 'less than br greater than' to separate text.

    • by Avatar8 (748465)
      These are all based on a false premise: that players *want* to participate in PvP. Believe it or not, most players want to play the game, follow the story, achieve levels and make friends. If a player is trying to do that, participating in PvP is a hassle and a major interruption to continuing the game.

      Look at Bartle's four player types: explorer, achiever, socializer and PvP. By the grid, in a group of 100 players, you'd expect 25 of those would be PvP. That's not the case. Usually it's more like 2 in 10

      • by Nyphur (514992)
        It's not a false premise that people want to PvP. I think you've gotten things a little backward. It's not that games should cater for a certain type of player, it's that the developers should make a game the way they want it and only players who are interested in that will sign up. EVE Online is a good example of this, where they decided to make a PvP based MMO based on their experiences in Ultima Online and not what would bring in the most players. They've stuck to that core design ethos all the way throu
        • by Avatar8 (748465)
          Yes, I did incorrectly state my point. Yes, there are players who want to PvP. What I meant to say that most (based on my UO, DAoC, AC, WoW & LotRO experience) fantasy MMORPG players do not want to PvP. Still it's a big factor in all of those titles and more so much so that it becomes apparent that a great deal of development resources and time are spent trying to fix, balance and improve the PvP system instead of developing the entire game further or adding more PvE content.

          Absolutely I don't have to

  • Claiming to make an MMO PvP study when taking into account only two (2) games, including one that just started and is still evolving and experimenting with what its PvP rules will be (AoC), is not serious at all.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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