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Author Topic: How does the PvP work in AOC?  (Read 13106 times)
ghost
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on: April 04, 2009, 06:47:57 PM

I have played this very little, maybe up to level 10 or so and the PvE stuff is somewhat interesting.  How does the PvP work?  There are no factions, right? 

Thinking about re-upping this since I've abandoned all hope with WAR.
Falconeer
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Reply #1 on: April 04, 2009, 08:24:43 PM

PvP is both the strongest and the weakest point of AoC right now.

The strongest point as the combat is just awesome, simply two or three times better than any other MMORPG around. And I am not just talking about melee combos, no the whole dynamics of PvP is just better than anything else. It is fast, brutal, physical, player skill based, colourful and painful in a good way. It's just that good, both in duel and mass pvp. Both at level 1 and 80. It has a LONG learning curve and that is what makes it so satisfying. Basically, if you don't like it means you are an inept and a carebear. You can be fixed though. Come to Fury and I'll make you a raging beast.

The weakest point is the big picture. There are 8 Battlekeeps up for grabs by the strongest guilds, and they give pretty cool pvp invulnerability buffs, not to mention prestige, so there is a lot of sieging going on.

BUT

Sieges are 2 hours of fun every, if you are lucky and in the right guild, 3 days. Out of sieging, and assuming you are level 80, the only PvP you can do is in Keshatta, the highest tier zone, right by the entrance in a small patch of land called Oasis. There, 24 hours and 7 days a week, you have a war going on. Which is cool, seriously, it's great for the first few days. But after a while you realize how static is to fight in the same identical small spot for days, over and over. To make things worse, the spot is filled with invincible guards who can two shot anything if you attack too close to them.

Now, why people keep fightint there? Couldn't they go elsewhere, for example Border Kingdoms, where PvP resources (to rebuild destroyed Battlekeeps) spawn and players are supposed to fight over, considering that they are needed and can be dropped upon death? Yes, but people are stupid.

The thing is, everyone pretty much fights for PvP levels and PvP xp, so they don't care about the quality of the fights, they just want to fastest way possible to kill people, and that small patch of land in Keshatta oasis provide them that. To go to Border Kingdom to hunt each other and have open field fights would be fun BUT not xp-efficient so after the first few days of enthusiasm everyone retreated to Keshatta for the routinesque endless war. Combat is still excellent, but after a few days it revolves to some sort of Counterstrike/Unreal Tournament pointless fighting. When you have PvP in a persistent world that doesn't feel so persistent something is horribly wrong.

Funcom is aware of the problem and they keep saying they are taking care of it. They are not saying exactly what will happen (sign that it won't happen so soon), but they are working on it. One of the announced ideas was about legendary Battlekeeps. 3 Battlekeeps placed by the 3 capitals of the world, so grand and glorious that they will be visibile by the cities, and much more coveted and prestigious than the regular Battlekeeps. That sounds awesome as it would make space for a few more guilds into the big war, but this won't fix it completely as what is needed is a reason to fight in a place different form the Keshatta Oasis, not just three more places with an attack window of 2 hours every three days.

To make it short:

- to fight in PvP is ALWAYS great, just much better than any other MMORPG
- The quality of PvP from level 1 to 70 is superb, if you can live in an open world pvp server and accept the idea that Player Killers are just rare spawn elite mobs you can have revenge on later.
- While still being lots of fun per se, sadly your PvP habits will be the same since level 71 to... forever. Fighting in Keshatta Oasis for PxP.
- Sieges, while cool, doesn't happen often enough. This game badly needs "control points" open 24 hours a day.

Bottom line: The strongest part of Age of Conan, its superb PvP, is penalized by the lack of worldy features to make it significant and epic. It is lot of fun, until you realize it doesn't mean that much other than instant gratification. Not that PvPing ever mattered to gameworlds that much in any MMO out of Shadowbane and EVE, but I was hoping for something along those lines. Meh!


FAKE EDIT: No factions. Every guild is a faction. Royal Rumble for the win.

ghost
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Reply #2 on: April 04, 2009, 08:31:16 PM

Thanks for the update.  I may give it a go again but on a PvP server. 
Falconeer
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Reply #3 on: April 04, 2009, 08:36:39 PM

To play on a PvE server in Conan is like going to the cinema with mirrorshades AND a pirate eyepatch. You are really doing your best to miss the fun.

Xuri
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Reply #4 on: April 04, 2009, 08:41:21 PM

You're saying that as if pirate eyepatches are a bad thing, Falconeer. I'm confused; even in a cinema, you're totally awesome cool if you're wearing a pirate eyepatch.

-= Ho Eyo He Hum =-
Hindenburg
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Itto


Reply #5 on: April 04, 2009, 09:50:02 PM

To play on a PvE server in Conan is like going to the cinema with mirrorshades AND a pirate eyepatch. You are really doing your best to miss the fun.

And to play on a pvp server is asking to be murdered by stealhers and 80's at every step, from my short affair with your 41  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

"Who uses Outlook anyway?  People who get what they deserve, that's who." - Ard.
Falconeer
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Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 04:04:35 AM

Haha, no I'm just saying you'd probably enjoy your movie better with both eyes and a clear vision.

And yes, that's how it starts Itto. Until you wise up! Especially with a ranger, dammit. You have a tracker, use it! You are supposed to be the ambusher, not the ambushed.

Hindenburg
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Itto


Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 08:56:33 AM

Level 80 necro. Big blue demon. It feasted on your ranger's generous cleavage.  awesome, for real

Game's awesome, tho.

"Who uses Outlook anyway?  People who get what they deserve, that's who." - Ard.
Quinton
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Reply #8 on: June 28, 2009, 05:26:56 AM

So where can/can't you be attacked by (or attack) other players?  A couple lv6 guys were running around and taunting me and so on while I was doing quests at lv5, but I assume if they could have attacked me they would have.  Are certain areas safe from pvp?
Kirth
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Reply #9 on: June 28, 2009, 07:05:14 AM

Most of the starting area is a safe zone, think white sands and the underhalls are pvp enabled.
Falconeer
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Reply #10 on: June 28, 2009, 09:47:40 AM

First 20 levels (Tortage) is all safe but the tunnels (dungeon) and the White Sands. After level 20 you can be attacked ANYWHERE save for the three big capital cities. Some places have very strong guards to help the victims, but you can still be ganked or oneshotted easily.

On the other hand, dying means nothing. No res sickness, no armour decay, nothing.

ghost
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Reply #11 on: June 28, 2009, 11:27:36 AM

Apparently, after having messed with the PVP servers for a bit, it works as so:  as soon as you set foot in any non-protected area you have hordes of people chasing you around trying to kill you.  This makes doing any of the quests in white sands pretty much impossible.  I guess this is fun, right?
DLRiley
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Reply #12 on: June 28, 2009, 12:21:31 PM

You guessed right. Now taking your beating like a man or be called a carebear awesome, for real
Nebu
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Reply #13 on: June 28, 2009, 12:39:55 PM

How much has reducing the number of moves in a combo limited the joust-like nature of melee pvp?  This was the number one turn off for me in beta. 

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-  Mark Twain
Threash
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Reply #14 on: June 28, 2009, 01:08:43 PM

They not only reduced the number of moves but also gave you a damage penalty if you didn't hit with the "prep" parts of the combo so im guessing it helped a bit, although i haven't done any pvp yet.

I am the .00000001428%
ghost
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Reply #15 on: June 28, 2009, 01:53:10 PM

How much has reducing the number of moves in a combo limited the joust-like nature of melee pvp?  This was the number one turn off for me in beta. 

The combos are fine, I just think you end up spending too much time concerned with the keyboard still.  It is turning into a quite decent MMO, however.  Definitely on the upswing.
Kail
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Reply #16 on: June 28, 2009, 02:58:31 PM

This is probably answered somewhere else, but I'm having problems with the controls.

I've got three directional attacks to spam and no real way to spam them aside from jamming the 1-9 keys.  I need to stay moving in PvP, but I can't cover seven keys with one hand.  I can't find a way to bind any of these attacks to a mouse button, and I can't find a mouselook toggle... it's really a pain for me to move and fight at the same time.   How do you guys manage it?
Kirth
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Reply #17 on: June 28, 2009, 03:22:42 PM

While in combat, the strafe keys (default z and c) will do a short hop of double tapped. that and alot of mouse strafing.
ghost
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Reply #18 on: June 28, 2009, 05:37:42 PM

The PVP servers seem like a bit of an afterthought.  Is there a point in PVP at lower levels other than ganking?  I dig some ganking every now and again, but certainly not something I am going to base my gameplay around. 
Falconeer
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Reply #19 on: June 28, 2009, 06:51:05 PM

The point of PvP is having fun. What's the point of leveling, questing and all?
Seriously, I stated so many times that AoC is kinda missing it when it comes to PvP rewards, would be ridiculous to deny that, but the combat is fun and that is, sometimes, the point.
Plus, believe me, if you want to rack up PvP XP (PXP) and levels you better start fighting as soon as you can cause once you hit max level it'll be much, much harder to score clean kills.

About Nebu's concerns, I can only say that moving and strafing is a very important part of the humanskill-based PvP of Conan, but that always made perfect sense to me. Pure jousting, with the swinging in the air part, has been significantly reduced, but trying to get behind your opponent while dodging his/her attacks is still what you want to do.
The only problem with the AoC melee PvP combat is that it is so damn hard, the learning curve is steep (see Kail's problems with controls) and it'll always seem like every player you face is better than you or worse, his/her class is better than yours. That drives so many away. Truth is, you will get better over time and it'll be so sweet. Don't fucking give up.

Tips for surviving White Sands and the PvP server:

1) All classes have HIDE/STEALTH. There's a reason for that. Put points in it, use it, wise up.
2) If you really don't want to fight see if there's another instance, maybe less violent.
3) If they kill you, stealth up and make a party with the guys just spawned at the res pad with you. Strength is definitely in numbers more than levels in Conan. Now, time for some payback!
4) Don't take death too bad. Whenever PvP finds you, rejoice! Finally some action! It's a PvP server and figting people should be more interesting than fighting mobs. PvP is an opportunity for fun, not an annoyance. If it's the latter, alas, I give up, wrong server.


ghost
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Reply #20 on: June 28, 2009, 07:40:03 PM

Plus, believe me, if you want to rack up PvP XP (PXP) and levels you better start fighting as soon as you can cause once you hit max level it'll be much, much harder to score clean kills.

Great pointers.  Can you expand on this part a bit, because this is what I was targeting.  I can't seem to find much about the PvP XP on the AoC pages.  What does it give you?
Falconeer
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Reply #21 on: June 28, 2009, 07:50:27 PM

There are 5 PXP levels. The PXP bar is turned off by default but you want to turn it on in the options menu. Each level gives you access to more PvP specific equipment (purchaseable from the appropriate PvP merchants), meaning stuff that is kinda useless in PvE but has serious and significant stats for PvP (see the appropriate stats tab in the revamped UI).

Kills can grant you from 1 to 150 PxP each, based on level differences and numbers of partecipants to the kill. The catch is, a character same level as you gives 100. While a char higher than you gives 150. This means you definitely want to kill players higher than you (and ideally, you want to kill them all by yourself). Once you are level 80 (cap), no one will give you 150 PXP anymore since everyone is equal or lower than your level, and given the nature of the lev 80 zones, slim are the chances you will score many clean kills too.

It's a common practice to stay in Tortage-White Sands until at least lev 3 PVP, that's why that zone is a war zone. Honestly, who needs "scenarios" or "battlegrounds" when you have White Sands? Hella fun!
Believe me, embrace and enjoy PvP and get your levels while growing up. It'll take much longer to get to level 80 but twice the fun.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 07:53:23 PM by Falconeer »

DLRiley
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Reply #22 on: June 28, 2009, 07:57:40 PM

Basically take your anal rape like a man and be glad you can't get an STD from the guys raping you.  why so serious?
Falconeer
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Reply #23 on: June 29, 2009, 06:11:52 AM

This is probably answered somewhere else, but I'm having problems with the controls.

I've got three directional attacks to spam and no real way to spam them aside from jamming the 1-9 keys.  I need to stay moving in PvP, but I can't cover seven keys with one hand.  I can't find a way to bind any of these attacks to a mouse button, and I can't find a mouselook toggle... it's really a pain for me to move and fight at the same time.   How do you guys manage it?

Took me  along while to figure out an efficient control/button system/layout. I had to ask around too as I was wondering how could they be so fast while I was still struggling with landing easy combos. The following stuff is geared towards high level characters, with lots of abilities/combos and lots of enemies, but the sooner you find the right setup for yourself, the better.
PvE is easy, but in PvP everyone is going to smoke you unless you find ways to react to everything in a matter of tenth of seconds. For example, when you see the casting bar of someone going for his knockdown, and that lasts 1 second, you have basically 9/10 of a second to hit your excellent balance and prevent that. Obviously, you need it at hand, but you need everything else at hand too. How?

First: forget about using the mouse to click icons and buttons. You have to become a pianist to play Age of Conan PvP effectively (Melee. Casting is way easier). No way you can look anything else but your enemies when you are fighting, so definitely you don't want to look at the hotbars that much.
Second: You will need looooong testing to figure out what are the most needed skills and how easily you can access them, so keep moving them until you think they are ok.
Third: This is by no means any kind of fixed rule, as things may differ based on your dexterity and even hand size, but tlet's say that you will basically use all the keys on the left part of your keyboard, meaning you won't need numbers from 5 or higher as what you can easily access usually stops at 4 key. So on a qwerty keyboard you will use

\ 1 2 3 4
q w e r
a s d f
< z x c v
ctrl alt

The right hand, of course, is always on the mouse and it'll just take care of changing your direction, and moving you forward. Pushing both the mouse buttons down will move you forward, and you will need to use it much more than the W key (you can't waste a left hand finger to move forward). Additional mouse buttons are MORE than welcome. For example mouse wheel is often used for some instant anti-CC. If you have something like 5 mouse buttons you are going to be happy. Put instants on it, they'll work magic.

Back to the left hand, forget about moving with wasd. You will put your left hand on the keys in a sort of twisted way, the rest position won't be straight but kinda inclined to have your second finger on the D key (to strafe right) and the third and fourth finger on the 1 and 3 keys. Your pinky is resting on the tab key but ready to retract on the SHIFT key for those needed burst of speed. The thumb is taking care of ALT and the lowest buttons, Z, X, C, V. In this scheme movement buttons like W, A and S will be mostly ignored when you are PvP fighting. You can use them but you'll probably realize they are less important than it seems. Movement happens via mouse and D key.

When you will be PvPing melee you will be circle strafing, but the need to actually hit the opponent with as many steps of your combo as possible will have you stopping the strafing and closing into your opponent frequently, and this is achieved by playing with the D key and the two main mouse buttons, while of course using the mouse movement to change your facing direction. Keep D down so you keep strafing right, and keep right mouse button down to continuosly adjust your facing, at the same time play with the left mouse button to push yourself a bit forward whenever you need to close in, by releasing the D key. Yes, this is basic circle strafing so a lesson about this is ridiculous, remember though that you won't probably be fighting ONE enemy, so to move "laterally and forward" instead of just going around with plain WASD is needed as the only way to leave enough fingers of your left hand free to do everything else. In fact, up to this point, we just used the second finger, steadily on the D key, to achieve our evasive-aggressive movement. The other four fingers are still free.

Put your main offensive combos on alt-1 alt-2 alt-3 and alt-4 buttons. You probably won't need more than 4 combos, and even though shorter and older ones can come in handy let's focus on what you do most of the times which is to use some of your best combos, cause once you performed the fourth you usually have the first one refreshed and ready to use. Why you put them on ALTS? Because you will have the "white attacks", the directional arrow attacks, on the 1, 2, 3 and 4. This way, let's assume that my Slaughter Combo requires me to do a left (1 key), right (3 key), up (2 key) to perform, then you want to put your Slaughter Combo starter on ALT-1 so to fire it up you will go ALT-1, 1 in a very rapid succession. Can you see it? Basically you can do the Combos Starter (alt-1) AND the first step (1) very quickly. You will use thumb and third finger to hit 1, then second finger to hit 3 and whatever best fits you to hit the final 2. Let's try with another combo, let's say it starts with a lower right attack and you have that on the 4 key. Then put your combo on Alt-4 so you can easily go alt-4 and then immediately followup with 4. Subsequent steps will become easier when your fingers will get used to it. Now, the catch is you will probably have more combos that start with the same direction, so you can't use that trick for every combo, and of course you will have to make a few choices about it, what's the most used? What's the most powerful? What's the one I REALLY need at the start of the combat without risking to be slow?
Another trick: who said the directional arrows need to be in order? For example I moved them to better fit the just descrbed scheme. If My longest combo needs a up, left, right, lowerright, I don't want to be pushing alt-2, 1, 3, 5. That IS complicated! So I can rearrange my arrows to be exactly like that, 1 is up, 2 is left, 3 is right, 4 is lowerright. That way my fingers will only have to hit the next button when it comes to complete the combo in the heat of a battle where moving is crucial (we are trying to avoid being hit at the same time you remember?). Now of course, you can only do something like this for your most important combo, as every other combo would probably require a different setup, but believe me it's much better if you can make it as easy as possible to access and perform your longest, or most powerful, or opening combo as flawlessly as possible.

Last but not least, I don't think there's any class that actually use all the 5 attack arrows for the combos. Find which one you don't use and remove it from your hotbar. White attacks are important at times, but there's no real difference between a lowerright and a right as they are hitting the same shield, so you only need the two of them for combo purposes. Get rid of anything you don't use.

This pretty much covers the basics of moving around and firing up combos efficiently. Now, you will want to fill up all the remaining keys with various utilities, instant skill, attacks, defenses, stances, cc and whatnot. Up to three 1-button abilities can be put on Z, X, C and V to be used with your thumb. Q, E and R usually are filled with the most important ones but remember that since your second finger will be on D most of the time R and even F or G won't be so easy to access as it may seem at first. It's good to use \ (left to the 1 key on my EU, but I am sure it's a different sign on NA) to change weapon if you have different stances. You don't want to waste a key for holster-unholster, just set it up in the options as it won't sheathe the blade back when a fight is over.
The little finger is only for playing with TAB (targeting only has a point if you are a caster) and SHIFT, for running. If you are THAT skilled, you might want to include CTRL+ in your stuff, but I couldn't do it myself.

As a final note, the key is in the positioning of your hand, and the subsequent mapping of your keys.
As I said, the whole "Piano player" mechanic sounds and feels kinda ridiculous and alien at first, but it becomes natural after a few days and it is part of why the PvP is so rewarding, because it is that quick, it requires that much skill on screen AND on the keyboard. Dexterity will only improve and your hand will learn the position of they keys either you pay attention or not. In a few days it'll fly over they keys without any need to think about it, and that is where you get that edge you are missing.

Sorry for flooding this much and for stating obvious, already known, or useless things.

Tannhauser
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Reply #24 on: June 29, 2009, 06:43:40 AM

Yeah was at White Sands last night.  Saw a Ranger my level.  He attacked at range and did some kind of stun, then when that wore off, rooted me.  I get to melee and maybe got one hit on  him and I'm dead (HoX).

No contest.  Hoxes have no range spells at Lvl8.  And apparently Rangers have two CC abilities.  This is the same old pvp shit we've seen for years; Ranged+CC+DPS.

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Reply #25 on: June 29, 2009, 07:14:23 AM

This is a party/mass pvp game, so 1 vs 1 balance is non existant, ESPECIALLY at lower levels. Rangers are OP 1vs1 up to about lev 50, then they slowly start to suck.
That's why everyone is a ranger at White Sands. Their Crowd Control is very annoying, you need to stalk/ambush them whenever possible (it can be done) or get friends. That's why, by the way I call them the coward class. They are the king of leechers.

Besides, is 1vs1 balance existant in other PvP games? As far as I know the above described scenario happens/happened to me in pretty much every game.

Hindenburg
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Itto


Reply #26 on: June 29, 2009, 07:18:49 AM

Also, rearrange your shields as soon as you start getting pelted by one. Press ctrl+2 a few times, will considerably reduce their damage output.

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Reply #27 on: June 29, 2009, 07:47:52 AM

Yes, rangers best attacks hit your center IIRC, so they are kinda screwed if you have your shields there. If you are in a ranger infested area you want to have your shileds there by default, it is worth it.

Finally, believe me, HoXes, Barbarians, Assasins, whatever. As soon as you get your charge skill the rangers will be soooo much in trouble.

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Reply #28 on: June 29, 2009, 11:36:55 AM

Thanks Falc.  I had been wavering on deleting a character and joining the Circus, but that convinced me I will never be capable of PvP in AoC, so there's no point in trying.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
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Reply #29 on: June 29, 2009, 11:41:23 AM

That sucks Lantyssa, you would be a little great Necro, I am sure. They play like any other caster in any other MMORPG. Only faster.

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Reply #30 on: June 29, 2009, 11:58:47 AM

Falc,

The issue seems to be that you're saying that PVP is maximum twitch and that it takes a long time to learn. The subtext being that it'll be frustrating for a long long time for someone that's unaccustomed to either PVP or twitch and doesn't have the desire/patience to learn it sad

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

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"let go of my dick you mother fucker!"  - Jimbo
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Reply #31 on: June 29, 2009, 12:30:29 PM

You can still do reasonable well in casual PvP with the default interface, the default keymappings and a minimal amount of circle-strafing/moving about. Falconeer makes it sound like everyone who PvPs in the game need to train for three weeks straight to get the most efficient setup, adding a couple more fingers to their left hands surgically to reach all the keys. :)

-= Ho Eyo He Hum =-
Nebu
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Reply #32 on: June 29, 2009, 12:32:03 PM

I may have to fire up my nostromo for this game.  Having many hotkeys on demand is a wonderful thing.

Sadly, I won't be able to play until the 15th when I take my daughter home.  By then, you'll all be level 80 or gone. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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Reply #33 on: June 29, 2009, 12:41:42 PM

Thanks Falc.  I had been wavering on deleting a character and joining the Circus, but that convinced me I will never be capable of PvP in AoC, so there's no point in trying.

Play a caster. Then you dont have to deal with the combos.
Lantyssa
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Reply #34 on: June 29, 2009, 12:44:31 PM

But then I have to survive long enough to catch up.  Already doing that in WoW, and there I don't have people hunting me in leveling areas.

Plus I'm really bad at anything requiring amazing reflexes.  PvP doesn't do much for me (WAR seemed the exception, oddly enough.), I just like the idea of playing something with y'all.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 12:46:40 PM by Lantyssa »

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
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