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Player-vs-Player Systems Examined

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the always-unbalanced-and-usually-fun dept.

Role Playing (Games) 152

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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152 comments

Older PvP (3, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23711641)

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 (3, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#23711919)

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.).

Re:Older PvP (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713233)

PvP-specific skill settings? What is this? Anarchy Online?

Re:Older PvP (1)

cthellis (733202) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712647)

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. ;-)

Re:Older PvP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23717377)

Older PvP is right.
Doom had the best PvP. And the best PvE.

Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23711643)

I thought AoC was supposed to be an MMORPG and not a "third person shooter" ... obviously I was mistaken.

There are both good and bad aspects of making MMORPGs available to the public.
The worst being that it completely removes the magic from the games. At least for me.

No new MMO I've played has been able to beat the feeling of UO, simply because there's little to no immersion in them because of the playerbase.
It's just a competition to the top, and not an adventure/RPG anymore...

Re:Oh... (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23711811)

It's just a competition to the top...
It's like it's just a game to them.

Re:Oh... (2, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713253)

If it were a game to them, they'd be having fun instead of farming and level grinding.

Re:Oh... (4, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714277)

Farming and level grinding is considered similar to foreplay for a lot of powergamers. A boring and tedious process you're forced to endure before you get to the good stuff.
 
Actually, come to think of it, there's a LOT of similarities between their views of foreplay and sub-uber game levels. Both take time, both are tedious, afterwards you get a short period of lots of fun followed by disappointment, and both can be bypassed if you've got enough cash and a willingness to deal with shady businessmen...

Re:Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23714709)

Man, you should really get a shrink. You got some Freudian issues there...

Re:Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712035)

If you didn't make an MMORPG available to the public, it wouldn't be very massive or multiplayer, I'd imagine.

If you're worried that games don't feel like you're really adventuring around in them, why not do a little role-playing?

Even nostalgia isn't what it used to be ;) (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712423)

Even nostalgia isn't what it used to be, eh? ;)

Or in this case, are you sure you've played the same UO I've played?

You know, the one with exactly zero quests (the escort quests, dumb and boring as they were, got added later) and not much more to do than run around trying to get some species extinct? That is, if you got past the gangs of gankers camping the town exits for newbies to kill?

The one where you could max your strength by just dropping and picking a fucking coin all night? Or others by just assigning that skill to every single key on the keyboard? Where one skill (magic) did more than all other skills combined, so everyone maxed that one with a macro before going and doing anything else? And where by comparison, another skill (tinkering) was useless for anything other than trapping chests and leaving them around, hoping that some newbie would open them? Great balance there, eh?

The one where crafting was as freaking useless as to only be able to produce coloured versions of the bog-standard items that cost cents at any vendor? While any humanoid around the map dropped better ones and magical ones?

Yeah, that's got to be some great adventure/RPG. Misses all the idea of either adventure or RPG, any way you define RPG. It didn't have either the story of Japanese (and recently Bioware) CRPGs, nor the character advancement of traditional US RPGs, so I guess it must be great.

Or remember how the world got full of houses everywhere, including with a tree poking through the roof, filling every single bloody space, including where the game still pretended was some virgin-ish wood or mountain top? So you'd have wolves and ogres spawning and edging their way between houses, pretending that's their habitat? Yeah, very immersive world that.

Quality of the player base? You mean, how half of them were clones of the same ganker in a death shroud with the same a polearm and the same magic spells? Or how they camped the mines for anyone foolish enough to get encumbered with ore, so they can gank them right next to the town? Yeah, that was some inovative roleplaying there.

Remember the about a quarter of the population who even bought disposable accounts to scam and grief, and had whole website rings dedicated to sharing tips on how to drive a newbie off the game? Amazing idea to RP someone who can magically steal your items through walls, or who can abuse a bug to take your items in a trade without giving anything, by just dragging yours in a container before aborting the trade.

And grinding to achieve the biggest castle and the most status-symbol items, now that's _totally_ unlike the grind to the top of kids these days in WoW ;)

Heh.

polyvinylpyrrolidine (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23711725)

What's polyvinylpyrrolidine got to do with MMOs?

Re:polyvinylpyrrolidine (3, Funny)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23711781)

What? You haven't heard of RFC 1150 - Standard for the transmission of MMO Datagrams over Polyvinylpyrrolidine?

What a ripoff! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23711809)

You talk about heads being chopped off or smashed in with two clubs, and you provide no screenshots?

Funk dat!

Re:What a ripoff! (2, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712319)

Who cares about that? What about the nudity???

Re:What a ripoff! (1)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712499)

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.

Hmm... What about L.O.R.D. (1)

FataL187 (1100851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23711973)

I liked the PVP system in Legend of the Red Dragon, these new fangled real time systems need to go! I liked the ANSI based graphics better as well. Also, I didn't need a broadband connection, my 1200 baud modem was lag free!

Re:Hmm... What about L.O.R.D. (3, Informative)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713125)

Here you go then, enjoy. [tradelair.com]

Re:Hmm... What about L.O.R.D. (1)

FataL187 (1100851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713179)

Yes!! You rock, if I had mod points I would give them all to you.

PvP === MMO? (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23711983)

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!

Re:PvP === MMO? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712353)

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?

pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (2, Funny)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712135)

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 asymmetry in objective based battles. It can be due to the two different sides having different objectives (attack/defend) or from slight asymmetry in maps (one base is easier to defend than the other).

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (3, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#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'.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712297)

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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713885)

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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (4, Interesting)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712359)

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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712801)

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.
So, basically, what you're saying is that you want an MMO version of The Legend of Zelda series?

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714653)

Actually, that would be an interesting thing to see. And something better than the Four Swords series of games. Has anyone ever come across a game like that?

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712273)

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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

daveywest (937112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714579)

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:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (2, Informative)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712401)

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 more.

EVE online has a steep learning curve. It's a brutal game. Wander into the wrong star system and you will kiss your ship and likely your pod goodbye. But, even a new player can make an impact with a team. It's less about who has the bigger gun because there is no BFG that has endless bullets, there is no power-up that gives you invulnerability. It's just you, your teammates and the strategy you have. Cruisers can take out battleships if the pilot doesn't know what he's doing or is fitted wrong. 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.

EVE's PvP isn't just about pew-pew either. It can also involve territorial disputes, wars between corporations, political positioning and negotiation, economic in-fighting, material and production disruption, to name a few. Does your FPS have that?

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

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

crenshawsgc (1228894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712525)

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...

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

Tirhakah (1223100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712783)

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...

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (5, Informative)

fitten (521191) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

moz13 (673277) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712969)

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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713169)

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

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713129)

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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714735)

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. Take chess for example. You really can't argue that a newbie who's sitting down at a chessboard for the first time can beat an experienced player who's been studying openings and endgames for years.

By your logic, all games have level systems, since in almost every game, an experienced player will usually beat the newbie.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23715001)

He mentions the game's "steep learning curve" - when he says older player, I think he is referring to that player's skill and knowledge, not their rank.

Play Eve (5, Interesting)

Wee (17189) | more than 6 years ago | (#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

Re:Play Eve (1)

Kaell Meynn (1209080) | more than 6 years ago | (#23715895)

The problem with Eve is the rampant cheating. I speak from experience as I was a director in one of the largest 0.0 PvP corps in the game. Worked up from the bottom. At each higher level of involvement with high-end PvP corps, I found more and more rampant blatant widespread cheating. Most PvP came down to who cheated more efficiently. This is not a fun way to have a game.

If you stay out of 0.0 (where the real gaming and PvP actually is), then it is great, but if you want to be a player in the gaming that has significant impacts on the game, all you'll find is cheating by your corp, cheating by the other corps, cheating by the solo players, and even cheating by the devs.

Another problem is the lack of repercussions of certain classes of actions. Specifically those where you betray your corp and steal their stuff or sabotage them. Because the next action is always to sell the character, and buy a new one, so no one can actually punish you for the betrayal. It makes it completely one-sided in favor of traitors and against those who work hard to build something. The allowance of character trade/sale in such an environment ruins the game... as does the allowance (don't let them fool you, it IS allowed) of trading ISK for RL money.

Eve _could_ be a great PvP game, if they fixed the fundamental flaws with it (ability to avoid repercussions of antisocial behavior, rampant cheating by all sides, RL money-ISK exchange).

Oh, and the lag... my god the lag. Alliance warfare is touted as one of the great features, but is unplayable because of the unbearable lag.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23713237)

The real flaw is in thinking that something has to be perfectly balanced to be enjoyable.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713245)

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 theory all players are equal or have the ability to be equal from the get go.

Then base the game around player interaction and question rather than gear and leveling.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23713267)

Or even developer prejudice. Because the lead WoW dev plays two classes and pretty much ignores the rest, those two classes will run over the rest, unless the other class has far better gear. Ironically, its the only two classes whose DPS goes up asyptomatically in a fight the longer they are engaged.

EQ1 is a good lesson in this as well. When the first dev quit whose favorite class was the necro, that class saw the worst nerfs in any MMO over a series of six months.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714607)

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 human opponent can get exactly what they want.

Better yet, let's get all the PvPers together in real life, strip them to their underwear, give them each a baseball bat and lock them all in an empty, dark warehouse until there's only one left. Then perhaps game developers can quit squandering so many resources on pleasing players who want nothing more than to waste time killing each others' pixels.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23717239)

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.

Re:pvp in mmorpg's is fundamentally flawed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23715425)

I disagree. It's more realistic and fun. In MMORPG PvP, if you encounter someone who is double the level than you, has better skills, it involves creativity to kill this person. For example, you need to get your friend involved, who is less powerful too, but together, maybe the both of you, working together with a strategy can win.

When I used to play UO, this happened all the time. Nothing is better than calling a Guild Member out to assist you and setting a trap for that high level guy.

You can't have this kind of thing in FPS. Sure, some guy might have the "better weapon" so you can to work together to get kill him, but its too black and white.

the hell that is Runescape (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712049)

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 valuable items if you die! THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE! There was literally no way to put on all your best gear and go fight someone (except in the duel arena) without one of you losing pretty much your life savings. No matter what you'd drop food and runes that you spent like 2 hours making. And because of this rule, you could be some ultimate character of death and go around killing people and still only make about as much as you could have crafting for the same time cuz nobody ever dropped anything of value. It was an absolute waste of time and the worst way to do pvp ever.

Re:the hell that is Runescape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23713247)

Runescape back in the day, when it has been out for maybe 6 years? What are you, like 15?

Re:the hell that is Runescape (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714883)

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 whining because someone found a way to play more effectively than you.

MUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712067)

IMHO...Mud's still have the best pvp systems for MMO games. There are things you can do without graphics that you can't with them.

Ultima Online (4, Interesting)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712177)

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.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712311)

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).

Re:Ultima Online (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712567)

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.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712797)

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 your MMO die.

EvE is tough enough for new players to get involved in just because of its learning curve. If there wasn't protected space, your average newbie would hardly last a week. (Some of the more established corps/alliances have created good newbie support structures, but I think it'd be silly for the devs to rely on that to keep their playerbase growing.)

Re:Ultima Online (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712985)

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.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

Free_Meson (706323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713787)

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.

Re:Ultima Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712397)

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.
And how's that different from Eve online PvP?

Re:Ultima Online (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712461)

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 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712531)

Ah yes. Griefing and being a general asshole just because you can is what TRULY defines PvP.

*rolls eyes*

Re:Ultima Online (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712579)

Wow, you're a real prick. I know you won't care, because that's one of the properties of being a prick.

Re:Ultima Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23716883)

You should know.

Re:Ultima Online (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712681)

"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:Ultima Online (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712999)

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:Ultima Online (2, Interesting)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712747)

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 redock. These guys then offer to ransom his ship, he pays them then they kill him anyways and pod him, steal everything he dropped then jump out all before the guys buddies can even arrive and save his ass.

Or the time when a hot shit merc group decided to attack a small corp with big friends, there pitiful 30 man faction fitted sniper fleet gets a a few dictor bubbles dropped on it, suddenly they are trapped as a few carriers jump in along with a 50 many battleship fleet with 30 or 40 support ships tears their ships to pieces while they cry. They then scream about blobing and how the game is rigged against them.

And stuff like the massive sov fights that last 4 or 5 hours, each side regrouping and fighting again in front of 10 different moons or planets all throughout a single system, or some of the big 400+ fights that resulted in capital ship graveyards.

Or the time I sat on a gate for 4 hours waiting for a single kill that was worth risking my ship over. Or sitting in a one enemy home system for a week, getting to be such a part of the local scenery that after awhile no one paid any attention. Then killing 4 or 5 miners before they get organized, then starting the process over again.

Re:Ultima Online, or "How to be an ass" (5, Insightful)

edremy (36408) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712827)

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)

Re:Ultima Online, or "How to be an ass" (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712891)

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.

Re:Ultima Online, or "How to be an ass" (1)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714737)

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 consequences for your actions and you do become a murderer. Hell, UO even had a bounty system wherein mass murderers would eventually have massive bounties on their heads from the summation of all their victims. Mobs of people would go around trying to hunt them down since you would actually be rewarded for bringing someone to justice. All this of course involved PVP.

There were no spawn campers in UO because there were no spawns.

This game wasn't some shitty pre-WOW level grindfest - it was a living, breathing world with highway men, real danger, and real consequences. It forced people to work together for protection. From playing other mmos, none come close to the camaraderie that UO fostered by placing you into a dangerous world in which the biggest threat to your life weren't mindless computer controlled monsters but other adaptive real-life human beings.

  So you don't want to get attacked by me and my buddy hiding in the woods waiting for you to walk by? Go with a friend and kick our ass, then loot all of our shit. Wear a shitty cloak over your awesome armor to make me and my friend over confident, then turn the tables on us. UO was a semi-real (I mean there were dragons and magic and shit) medieval simulation. There were only humans, doing human things - there's no elves or grinding on monsters, spawn camping or retarded raids. You wanna get better as a swordsman you use that skill either by killing some monsters or sparing with your friends. You wanted to make furniture, you could go ahead and do it. You needed wood, you could buy it off a lumberjack or go harvest some yourself.

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. But its hard to get people to look at a 10+ year old game when they're content to sit and grind monster after monster so they can get more money to buy better weapons to kill more monsters and do same thing over and over - what fun!

Re:Ultima Online, or "How to be an ass" (3, Insightful)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Ultima Online, or "How to be an ass" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23716983)

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?
Not really, I've been on both ends of a mine-raid. I learned the first time that you're not safe outside towns, it's just that people go into mines unprepared, unarmed and really not ready to put of a fight. I've been on the receiving end, I've taken a few raiders down with me before going down, because I learnt the tricks of the trade, cast stone walls. teleport to the top and run atop of it while shooting down arrows quicker than they can dispel. Or better yet, summon a few blade spirits, or a purple llama of death in, then recall the fuck out of there.

Or make the douchebag maxed on strength your bitch when you gank him with a single well-placed pre-nerfed mindblast (used to do damage based on the gap between str and int). Christ, half the time you could take on a swarm barehanded if you knew to hit-and-run-and-hide-and-hit-again.

People went into unguarded areas unarmed, you don't need a lagspike to take down 9 miners. And you certainly don't need to worry about a single mine-raider when you're armed and trained, or at least remembered to mark a rune to a safe place. Unless they flood the shaft with summons, then you're fucked one way or another.

Even the most hardcore RPers leanred to remember that there's the asshole rogue hidden just outside the Ancient Wyrm lair waiting to gank them the second they slew the beast.

And It's not as if it didn't work both ways with all those Anti-PKs camping the chaos shrine. And it's not as if it was purely douchebaggery, I recall several occasions where I've ganked a wandering mage, looted nothing but his reagents and left him or her a lump of gold as compensation, due to being unable to get into town to restock, I've even rez'ed a few before recalling out. Of course, there were always the few who'd retaliate after their grace period, and got ganked, looted and dismembered on principal.

The whole point was that going out of guarded areas wasn't safe, unless you went prepared, it doesn't take 12-hours of grinding or being the most hardcore of hardcore just to join.

That was the appeal of the game, you have free reign over the unguarded areas, but so does everyone else. You're not safe. You get caught in an unsafe zone and you lose everything, worse for murderers with the stat-loss penalties. The challenge wasn't so much in the dungeon, but getting there and back, while keeping your loot, made things so much more satisfying.

Sure systems like that don't get player bases like WoW does, it isn't easy, you have to earn your shit, you have to learn the tricks of the trade, you have to learn tactics and strategy, that doesn't appeal to everyone, but those who do appreciate the added challenge as well as the added freedom, love it dearly.

Re:Ultima Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23712845)

So let me see if I understand this...

You're claiming bragging rights for driving someone to stop playing a game they bought, and presumedly enjoyed?

Wow, now I remember why I hate the pvp population of almost every online game I play

Re:Ultima Online (1)

DrLov3 (1025033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712877)

Dude, check this, it's called EVE-online, www.eve-online.com, when you die, you lose everything that's on your ship and the ship, all the modules(equipement) you worked long and hard to buy are lost, half of them destroyed, the other half left for attackers to salvage. The ship is destroyed, altought it is possible to buy insurance for 20% the price of the ship, some ship are just uninsurable and you have to renew the insurance contract every 3 months.

Furthermore, to be damn sure no 12 year old plays this game : when your ship is destroyed, you end up in your escape pod, that can also be destroyed, if that is destroyed, then you end up in the station where you purchased a copy of your body, a clone, and you have to buy another clone, should you forget to buy a clone, the next time your escape pod gets destroyed : this is it, you also lose all your skills, period, done, no way back.

And, yes, you can battle for control of player owned space stations much like as in UO you battle for the control of player owned houses and castles.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713015)

You lose a percentage of your skills, not all of them.

Which Is Why UO Is A Shell Of It Former Self (2, Insightful)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712921)

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 population I didn't care to hang around.

I personally don't care for PVP (if I wanted that sort of "frag fest", I'd play something else) but if WoW is "lame" then many players out there really wants "lame". In the end, it looks like that many don't want "real PVP" if it behaves like UO. Only the hardest of the hardcore PVP/PK-er likes these "options". Why would anyone market to them since they make up such a small segment of the market?

Personally I think EVE has it the "most correct". If you are going to engage in PVP, make sure you mean it because there are all sorts of secondary consequences to just engaging in PVP combat let alone if you win. Since EVE has a small population and the game itself is structured to create strong interpersonal relationships (not all of them friendly), you will not get far if you PVP just to be a jerk because "your reputation proceeds you".

Re:Which Is Why UO Is A Shell Of It Former Self (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713095)

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.

Re:Which Is Why UO Is A Shell Of It Former Self (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713765)

What's the name of this corp? Just curious of course.

Re:Which Is Why UO Is A Shell Of It Former Self (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714393)

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.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

holmedog (1130941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713037)

What you neglect to mention is that dieing and losing everything equated to MAYBE an hour of downtime to recollect everything. The fact that the best items you could get were gm crafted exceptional items made a massive difference. If you lost everything like that in another game (say WoW for example), your talking about DAYS of lost farming.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23715331)

Not necessarily.


In the simplest scenarios, yes. One day I had my fresh new tinker/lumberjack (no fighting skills) outside Minoc chopping trees. When my backpack was full of logs, I'd tinker them into clock frames. Rinse and repeat for about an hour before heading into town to sell them for profit. With my backpack full of nothing but an axe, a tool and clock frames a PK jumped out, killed me and complained about what lousy loot I had.

Yes, in that case I bought a new axe and tools and went back to chopping in a different forest. The fact that the PK wasted my time and forced me to change my playstyle was the infuriating part.

Now consider a worst case scenario. (This one is hypothetical as the previous one really happened.) After establishing myself with a small house and making a good deal of money, I decide to upgrade my house. Due to storage limitations yet the need for large amounts of resources to profit from crafting, I have to buy a few pack mules to store all my items while I demolish the old house and build the new one. As the old house comes down, out comes a PK (or more likely a gang) who proceed to kill me, kill my pack mules, take all my items and place their own new house in the spot mine had previously occupied.

That's months worth of effort gone in less than a minute. Even if I had millions of gold in the bank, why should I bother starting over? Whatever efforts I make will be thwarted by people who would rather capitalize off of other peoples' work.

As you mentioned some of the best (but not THE best) items were GM crafted. Yet how can crafters get the resources they need when the PKs continuously interrupt the work? All the suggestions I heard from pro-PvPers were pointless.
- "Put fighting skills on your crafter." He's a crafter. To be the most efficient crafter and not have multiple crafter characters, fighting skills are zero.
- "Have your friends guard you while you mine/chop." Oh, yeah. Like standing guard for hours is a great way to play a game.
- "Only go to 'safe' zones." Before Trammel the only safe zones were inside city boundaries and the amount of trees and mineable rock within cities was sparse at best.

PvP/PKing in UO was griefing of the worst kind. Not only did you lose hours of effort, not only did PKs force you to change how you wanted to play but on top of it all they could violate your senses and your character's corpse without any recourse.

UO could have been the best MMO on the market. Underestimation by the developers of how immoral and idiotic players could be killed it before it got up to full speed.

Re:Ultima Online (2, Interesting)

sanjacguy (908392) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713057)

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 such a way that I have MORE opponents, not less. Our guild doesn't (generally) secretly attack WoW zones... We post on the blizzard forms that we'll be in Halaa on Thursday night at 8 PM. Because making somebody quit a game isn't as good as making him play it.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713257)

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 that took months, but a few characters who weren't at that level could swarm and kill a character who had. The difference in gear in the beginning wasn't that great -- vanquishing swords and grandmaster blacksmith-crafted armor were not too difficult to acquire and if you died it wasn't too hard to gear up again.

EA pretty much screwed UO over though, adding a WoW like item grind and non-PvP zones. And once people started to min/max character builds and EA allowed skills to go over 100, it destroyed a lot of what made the skill system interesting in the first place. We can only hope that CCP never sells out to EA, since EA's Midas touch seems to turn everything it touches into crap.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713723)

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 popular insult) 'serious business,' but from a business perspective it didn't work at all.

I remember running into people that would mine at the border of the town, just close enough so that guards would kill any would-be gankers, so that they couuld make enough money to get some gear and reagents. Once they got enough money, they would run out of town and try to finally 'play outside', only to get ganked and looted by more powerful players, losing everything. Then they would start again with the whole mining thing.

This brought up a wierd caste-like ecosystem. You had your 'weak' players farming at the bottom of the barrel, and your strong players farming the weak players once they get just enough resources to adventure outside, the weak players being put in their place by losing everything they worked for and handing over their goods to the PKers. Those weak players never had a chance to work on their weapon skill, most of the time you would get killed by ranged attacks - usually from 1 or 2 arrows or a magic missile. The only time they would get skill was from the in-town training dummies, which only got you so much weapon training. (it's been years since I've last played, apologies if I forget the game mechanics)

And then came the harassment stories - an early discussion was about an 10 year old girl playing UO, she was herding sheep and making clothing. Out comes a few PKers, kill her, loot the stuff and walk away. She comes back, is all angry and asks why they would do such a thing. The Pkers responded with insults via sexual remarks and then proceed to kill her again. Sounds pretty typical of what the average preteen boy would do, but still - bad karma that goes unpunished. UO was a harsh place.

The PKing in UO got so bad I recall someone actaully filed a lawsuit against OWO because of it. Again, from a gamer perspective that sounds pretty hilarious in the order of Jack Thompson, but still, it's unfortunate. I guess it was an early indication that UO does definately not prepared for the new genre of gaming.

As the next interation of MMOs started to come into play, there has been an emphasis on combat mechanics and less on actual roleplay, which is unfortunate. But since the majority of players were looking for combat anyways, the point was moot, business dictated that the RP element in MMORPGs were a profitless money sink, and simply stopped developing in that direction altogether.

MMOs today really are not that much different from FPS, instead of a lobby, you have your world - the real gameplay comes from the instances i.e. individual servers. The only difference between a MMO and a FPS is that the company hosts all the instance based servers as opposed to the instances being hosted by players themselves. There's nothing massive about today's MMOs

Re:Ultima Online - everyone that was wrong with (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713809)

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 was no effective punishment system to prevent some of the stunts people would pull to gank people. They weren't doing it for money/profit, most did it to piss people off.

That is why real PvP isn't suitable to MMORPGs, there is no repercussion. Don't fall back on that excuse of "the players will make the repercussion" because unless the game designers give then a method nothing works. Characters were throw away. It wasn't hard to gear out and if you ran up a bad name you could just reroll. Newer games allow people to transfer off their server and rename themselves to avoid any black marks associated with their actions. Plus most weren't out for the challenge, hell they avoided any risk they could. Half the time I see PvP advocates crying over changes or such is because the risk went up.

Sorry, anarchy does not make for a good game. I know all the good stories of "good pvp" encounters in many a mmorpg but they are always out weighed by the bad examples, of people quitting over the harassment and such. When I want PvP I go to games created from the get go with real balance, none of this play for X levels totally protected, or just being better geared for being their six months.

Sorry, I didn't find UO's original PvP any better than any other MMORPG. It was just first compared to many and highlighted many problems upcoming MMORPGs had to counter to make sure they could retain players over the long term.

PvP in a mmorpg is like the short bus in the realm of PvP. It is much more challenging to play a FPS where your only benefit for playing a long time is skill with your character.

Re:Ultima Online - everyone that was wrong with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23714927)

I've actually been fairly entertained by the pvp in City of Villains/Heroes. The balance isn't terrible, pvp areas are setup so everyone in the zone is set to the same level (although you may not have as many powers if you're on the low end of the scale), there's room for creativity (build a toon with -regen / -recovery and wear people down or build a front loaded damaging hellion and unleash?) and of course it's totally optional. It's not even mixed in with the pve content at all.

As with most things, it's the most fun if you keep the caveats in mind:

- Heroes are overpowered compared to villains, just like in the comics

- There'll always be ganking or people teaming up on you, in my experience it just isn't that common or undefendable (you did choose to go in to a pvp zone after all)

- pvp is innately unfair. the coh devs do an ok job of balancing the unbalancable. just have fun with it.

Re:Ultima Online (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23714359)

"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 playing UO? Felucca is still there as the lawless, jerk-infested land of no fun or productivity. I'm guessing you quit when Trammel was created because 80% of the population on ALL shards moved to the non-PvP side. When the PvPers had no victims for loot and resources, they started preying on each other. Despite every PvPer I've ever met stating "I PvP for the challenge of a fair fight against a human," when they had to fight each other and it turned into gang wars with the largest gang with all the best gear owning the Felucca side of the shard, they all quit, too.

Yeah, that's real PvP. Killing off an MMO for the enjoyment of ruining others' game.

Best PvP? (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23715027)

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.

Re:Best PvP? (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23716131)

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.

Re:Ultima Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23715489)

You're a sadist and a pansy-ass griefer. Get a life. Good PVP is about challenging fights, not screwing someone over "permanently" for no reason, or toying with someone who can't even compete just to be a dick. I bet when you leave your mom's basement it's to torture squirrels, isn't it?

Re:Ultima Online (1)

bartok (111886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23716435)

Amen, I have a lot of nostalgia for UO pks'.

Re:Ultima Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23717415)

My favorite characters were stealth bard and carpenter monk healer.

Stealth bard could sneak through any dungeon, then hide in a corner and provoke the monsters to attack each other. After the room was cleared he would walk in and loot all the treasure.

Carpenter monk healer could chop wood from a tree and carve a high quality staff or bow -- capable of taking 80% of life in one hit. As a healer, he could cut a cloth up into bandages, which could restore all your hit points, cure deadly poison, or resurrect a ghost. On the "capture the flag" server, he would carve furniture and pile them up in the flag room, forcing enemies to become interior decorators before they could get to the center of the room.

Both characters kept their newbie clothes and tools so the remained in the backpack when they came back to life. They also all had the same name, so if one was flagged for pvp I could run into my house, relog another, and mark the enemies as criminals.

Planetside - System wide PvP (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23712307)

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 was about to begin.

Of course, the fact that the game was a FPS-based twitch combat game was tempered by the rank and battle level system, which gave veteran players an advantage (But not an insurmountable one) over noobs. Being able to change your stat allocation almost at will meant you never had to grind for a certain fit, and the only real limitation was the empire selection which meant you couldn't spawn the weapons of the enemy (But you could loot them from vanquished foes -- until you got blown up, too)

It's a shame they had some early problems with lag, and made some very poor developmental decisions after the first expansion pack. I was really hoping Tabula Rasa would be the more advanced "spiritual successor" to it, but it wasn't meant to be.

Re:Planetside - System wide PvP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23715665)

World of Starcraft should be based on the foundation of Planetside.

Nuff said.

WoW versus Eve (4, Informative)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713173)

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.

Re:WoW versus Eve (1)

Free_Meson (706323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713927)

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.

Re:WoW versus Eve (1)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 6 years ago | (#23715947)

Even in high-sec your not 100% safe.

You have the JihadSwarm which are Goons (from Goonswarm) who have declared a jihad against macro Miners. They will take a BS w/ a very cheap fit and attack mining barges running macros in hi-sec. This is feasable for two reasons. First, CONCORD (Eve's equivalent of town guards in hi-sec) has a delay response. The lower the security status of the system, the longer the response (1.0 being safest, .5 being the lowest of hi-sec). So the alpha-strike of the battleship usually kills the barge, if not the BS may get a 2nd volley off before getting destroyed. The second reason is Insurance. Insurance in eve pays out a fixed amount base on the ins. plan. The platinum plans normally cost 30% of the BS but a simple BS is prices as such that a BS + Ins cost is slightly more then the payout so the loss is minimal.

Another thing about hi-sec is there are suicide gankers who go after pve carebears flying multi-billion credit pve ships. Now, you don't need billions of credits worth of faction modules to do missions, normal Tech 2 modules are enough. The factions modules allows you to do them while doing other things, ie not paying attention.

Eve is first and formost a sand-box. You get out of it what you put into it. But being a sand-box you can make billions even without having to undock in hi-sec if you know how to play the commodities market (and there are skills in game to assist in this).

Albatross 18 (aka Pangya!) (1)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23713645)

This is why I play A18.... Very fun and addictive game, entirely PVP with guilds, and you don't lose anything when you "lose"... That and it has $0.00 upfront cost.

COnsequences and balance (1)

morphles (1257124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23715639)

First thing pvp must have consequences, big ones. I like the concept of permadeath, it gives you more excitement and emotions. Now i hear all of you who say i'll not play a game where i will be killed by some kid who has all day to play and level up. And thats the second grates problem of RPG of today.

WT* is p with leveling and skilling? I don't know who invented this but IMHO mostly it sucks big time(at least for multiplayer for sure). Game becomes unbelievably hard to balance, you'll always get: more time on game - stronger. And that gives big and i'd say unfair advantage for teens who have lots of time. And because of what teens are like they effectively ruin the game for everyone else. And thats not good. Other thing the skilling leveling system doesn't reflect reality(it reflects movies or anime) (for those who say it doesn't have to IMHO better dont play PRG at all then) in life then you train some skill/"stat" and later on you don't use it, it worsens. Or if you were training for weight lifting and later started to to put all your time in studying you'll not lift same weight after a year of studying. (yea i know not very precise formulation but i hope you get the point) I think that by making leveles, classless RPG witch has skills that decrease over time, and also has permadeath it would be possible to make really interesting MMORPG (PvP vise).

rogue-friendly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23716503)

I still like Ultima Online's PVP system best, personally. Where it's less of a straigh-out PVP, and more of a PvE (Player versus Everything), where there's no distinction between monster, player and npc mobiles.

Pretty well, you're free to do as you please, to whom you please, as long as you can get away with it. It's always nice that you can go on a murdering spree without actually engaging in PvP (trapping players' backpacks, and boxes, setting exploding traps on dungeon chests, littering the ground with exploding boxen containing poisoned cake, etc). I've always appreciated the whole idea that although you're safe within the walls of guarded towns, you very much aren't, there are still plenty of indirect ways to get killed, and lots of old dirty tricks (planting things in people's sacks so they're too heavy to run away comes to mind). I don't see many other PvP systems that are as friendly to the rogue and thief as they are to the mage or warrior.

It's fallen quite some ways behind in many areas, but it's still lots of fun and a really good system, I haven't seen much of elsewhere.
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