Sep 192012
 

DDOGamer Series: Saving PvP

Part One: We Need to Save PvP
Part Two: A Comprehensive Look at the Current PvP System
Part Three: How Will We Know When PvP is Fixed?
Part Four: Balance the PvP Contest, Not the Game
Part Five: Understanding PvP Hate
Part Six: PvP Dreams: 30+ Ideas For Saving PvP


We Need To Save PvP


Come at me bro
Come at me bro

Player-versus-player (PVP) is the most polarizing aspect of DDO. A few people love it. A few more people tolerate it. And everyone else hates it. And I mean hate, HATE!

Post something about PvP on the forums, anything really, and your thread will be attacked as if it were some sort of personal insult, angry PvP haters tearing at your idea like a school of literary piranhas.

But we need PvP.

The hate comes from several ingrained prejudices: PvP players are seen as rude, to each other and to non-PvP’ers, something that is hard to refute if you’ve ever watched General Chat when there are PvP’ers in the Lobster pit.

PvP forum posters always seem to want the classes to be “balanced”, something that really annoys Dungeons & Dragons players as inter-class balance has never been part of the game, and cannot be achieved without changing (obliterating? See D&D 4th Ed.) the differing class structure that is inherently part of the appeal of the character generation system.

There is a contingent of DDO players who believe that any developer time spent on PvP detracts from time they could have spent on the rest of the game and will always vocally decry any effort applied to anything PvP.

But still, we need PvP. Really, we do. Follow the logic:

  1. Start with the assumption that we all want the game to continue, remain fun, and to receive a stream of new content.
  2. Then consider that the sole requirement for this assumption is that there are enough paying customers to justify additional investment.
  3. Now ponder the fact that PvP players are in fact, players, and therefore, potentially income producers. We can all agree that more players is better than less players.
  4. Now consider development efficiency: as a system, PvP does not require the same kind of monthly hand-crafted attention that other types of new content require. Get PvP right, once, and you can leave it be for awhile. Versus a new quest that will need to be replaced with an even newer quest in the next update.
  5. Finally, consider replayability. If PvP can be made fun, it will always be like that, replayable infinitely without further dev interaction.

See? For the good of the game, we need PvP.

Imagine a world where PvP is fun, something you want to do, that is rewarding, and always there. It would be a pretty cool world, right?

But what we have right now is not enough. Turbine has tried to walk a line between appeasing PvP’ers without losing/annoying/repelling the rest of their customers and it hasn’t worked. We end up with an unsatisfying PvP experience that only reinforces the prejudices against it.

I propose an update that is full of nothing but PvP enhancements; but it has to be the right ones. We’ll start talking about that tomorrow.

Game on!

🙂 😀 🙂

  6 Responses to “We Need To Save PvP”

Comments (6)
  1. I mostly use pvp for testing things. Finding Dcs for things that are not super clear.

    But i think some kind of parallel pvp dungeon crawl is needed. Talked a little with Glinn about such a quest and i am not sure what was his thoughts and what were mine now so better not to say anything.

  2. Ah look- by blogging about PvP you are losing ‘stars’ 🙂

    tbh I’m not into PvP. I use it for the odd test of gear, skills, etc… but I certainly agree that those who play PvP are just as likely to be paying customers and have the same right to good content as the PvE’ers

  3. DDO PvP in its current state is pretty sad. I would like to see a mechanic that sets up your character in a state where your equipment and abilities are on equal terms with your opponent. Then it becomes a game of skill rather than how well you’ve prepared.

    I’ll shoot you an email, I’d love to have this be a topic for a DDOcast Round Table Talk!

    Thanks,
    Anne

  4. I almost never PvP. If I want to test something out, I head for a wilderness area. But very, very occasionally, I do venture into the pits with friends, and ONLY with friends, because I know it’ll be fun rather than devolving into a flame war… which is what I see way too much of in genchat when I’m in Harbor. That’s the main reason I don’t PvP, the egolitists and ego-wannabe-elitists and their trash talk.

    If Turbine were going to make any changes to PvP, I’d like to first of all see the PvP areas get their own chat channel, and then require all participants to pass basic IQ and courtesy tests. Well, OK, that second one’s not gonna happen. LOL

  5. Let's look at your so-called logic for a moment.

    ll, we need PvP. Really, we do. Follow the logic:

    (1) Start with the assumption that we all want the game to continue, remain fun, and to receive a stream of new content.

    Duh.

    (2) Then consider that the sole requirement for this assumption is that there are enough paying customers to justify additional investment.

    A gross oversimplification, but let's move along.

    (3) Now ponder the fact that PvP players are in fact, players, and therefore, potentially income producers. We can all agree that more players is better than less players.

    Interesting. At first this point seems so obvious as to seem tautological, and it's mostly true. But then, deliberately recruiting a bunch of Plat Spammers and k3w1d00d griefers might well make one yearn for fewer players, and drive away real paying customers in droves.,

    (4) Now consider development efficiency: as a system, PvP does not require the same kind of monthly hand-crafted attention that other types of new content require. Get PvP right, once, and you can leave it be for awhile. Versus a new quest that will need to be replaced with an even newer quest in the next update.

    Bogus in the extreme. PVP is the source of a large majority of the whining in most MMO's. This forces the Devs to take a cookie cutter approach to class balance which utterly destroys the replay value of existing content. In DDO, playing through an old existing quest can be a wildly different experience if you're on a character that's highly different than the ones you've run before.

    (5) Finally, consider replayability. If PvP can be made fun, it will always be like that, replayable infinitely without further dev interaction.

    False. Or, at least a matter of personal opinion. If you've made one fourteen year old South Korean boy cry, you've made them all.

    See? For the good of the game, we need PvP.

    In what way does this point follow logically from the above? PVP is not the ONLY POSSIBLE WAY to popularize the game, and in fact the marginal importance of PVP in DDO is arguably part of its' success. Certainly if I was forced to deal with snot-nosed little griefers in PVP to reach endgame, I'd have chosen another MMO. And I doubt I'm the only paying customer who feels this way.

    Also, the broad generalities you cite above could just as easily be used to justify a better UI, or a graphics revamp with near-pornographic levels of nudity available (e.g. the Conan MMO.) or Jedi with lightsabers, or a minigame that involves raising mutant racing Ostrich mounts.

    If experience in the online gaming industry teaches anything, that lesson is NOT that PvP is the only path to success. A better candidate for universal truth might be that the surest recipe for failure is trying to be all things for all people.

    • We dont need pvp to keep ddo alive. We need the work currently being done to work when it hits live rather than the bug ridden **** we are getting.
      Pvp will only add an additional element of bug creation and do nothing to maintain player retention.

What do you think?

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