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tazelbain
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tazelbain


on: February 19, 2007, 02:57:20 PM

So looking at UO/SB/Eve, open PvP seems to revolve around forming gangs and battling over turf.  I personally find this very distasteful and distressed that this is what passes for 'meaningful' in the PvP crowd.  People mocked the r30s, but they were just cutting to the heart of matter and calling it what it is.

Is there any other option for open PvP?

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Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007, 03:06:33 PM

dunno.  I've always thought of it as a team sport because designers usually only reward group sports.  I.e., you can earn more PvP-points when grouped than if you solo.
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Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 03:14:05 PM

The Ballers are taking over Los Santos Park!

I mean, uh, yeah. Gang warfare.

Guilds are gangs. I coulda told ya that.

But that Captain's salami tray was tight, yo. You plump for the roast pork loin, dogg?

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Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 03:41:01 PM

EVE has other PVP, it's just not pew-pew all the time.  Go dick around with the average regional prices of things in the EVE market and see what happens to you.  But I guess it all boils down to some form of power-acquisition, and most of the time territory = power.

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Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 03:51:54 PM

Of those three, UO is the most "base". There really was no PvP objective beyond turf fighting over boundaries players did nothing but name. EQ1 PvP was all about the contested public-space content (though of course nobody called it "PvP", and what passed for legit PvP was really just people getting in the way of the grind. Some like the added danger there).

SB, Eve, and Lineage 2 add the more functionally practical layer to it. In these titles, they are real turfs. But it's not about e-peen'ing as much as it is about resources. Kick inhabitants out, gain the resources, build a stronger grip, keep gaining resources. This is all towards the larger goal. Larger cities, larger alliances, larger ships, whatever.

Is this "distasteful"? Only in the sense that it's been the primary reason for war since humanity started fighting itself. Wrap whatever justification seems appropriate for the time, but there's deep sociological reasons why PvP in any genre is structured as it is. And quite honestly, I'd very much rather have these sorts of activities just happen within the games.
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Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 04:07:15 PM

  I think it is something more.  Random 1v1 PVP is usually referred to as ganking.  To prevent ganking players join others for protection, and thus gangs form.  The problem is open PvP is lawlessness and that is what causes gangs to form.  Even in the real world.  From the first immigrant gangs in America to the ghetto gangs of the 90s to the klan, even the colonial rebels who founded the united states, gangs are a result of lawlessness caused by either senseless application of laws to oppress, or from the lack of legal repercussions for illegal actions.  Unless you want to police your game, gangs are the obvious outcome of open PvP.  That said, gangs are just another word for nations.  Perhaps in that context you would be more accepting of their inevitability.

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Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 04:26:27 PM


Humans have been having hot tribe on tribe warfare action since civilization began. Sports teams, corporations, gangs, cities, tribes, nations, guilds, races, schools, are all the same. The largest visible difference between two entities is what people will fight over.

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Reply #7 on: February 19, 2007, 04:29:58 PM

Random 1v1 PVP is usually referred to as ganking. 

No, it's not.  :-D  Of course, that doesn't mean that 1v1 pvp can't be "ganking".  But usually ganking is a more pejorative term for a player kill.

No problem with anything else you wrote. 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007, 04:32:11 PM by Rasix »

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Reply #8 on: February 19, 2007, 04:31:13 PM

Open PvP isn't necessarily required for a conquest/resource takeover game.

Or is it conquest itself that you have a problem with? Then go play another game. 98% of them are made for you anyways.

Or are they so "distasteful" that you don't want anyone to play them at all?


Also, just about everything in games could be considered distasteful to someone. Big deal. Hell, I have a hippy mom friend who won't even let her son play Mario Kart because it has aggressive tactics in it.
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Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 04:35:24 PM

I think the game mechanics determine, somewhat, whether the PVP will stay mostly 1v1 or evolve to GvG.  In EVE, an individual can't (officially) control territory, only a corp. or alliance can, and the ships have too few slots to allow proper weapons, defense, AND all the crowd-control EW stuff, so people are forced to group.

On the other hand, on WoW PVP servers, in the outside zones where resources or recognition don't go to the victor, it's mostly 1vs1 or small group vs. 1 gankage.
tazelbain
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Reply #10 on: February 19, 2007, 04:54:57 PM

A nation is these games is either a hierarchy of gangs or a preset identity the player is assigned. BoB vs Midgard.  BoB has significant control of its destiny.  Midgard has a distinct identity.  After reading the wikipedia on nations, a gang isn't a nation.  There really isn't a way for a group of gangs to create a distinct identity to be nation in these games.  At least, I can't see any difference between any of top gangs in Eve besides raw power and that doesn't inspire me.  I figure that's why nations tend to be divided race.  It's a easy short cut to create a nation identity based on a racial identity and this too is common in RL.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007, 04:56:43 PM by tazelbain »

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Reply #11 on: February 19, 2007, 05:00:40 PM

After reading the wikipedia on nations, a gang isn't a nation.

lol
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Reply #12 on: February 19, 2007, 05:03:53 PM

So looking at UO/SB/Eve, open PvP seems to revolve around forming gangs and battling over turf. 

What do you think the Middle Ages was? Just because the rulers called themselves Kings and believed they were justified in their actions by God, does not make them more than gangsters.

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Reply #13 on: February 19, 2007, 05:14:33 PM

Or are they so "distasteful" that you don't want anyone to play them at all?
I thought it was you, in one of the WAR threads, that said Open PvP was well suited to MMO because it can give players a feeling that they part of the world and control over their lifes.  On the surface, this seems like a compelling argument to me.  I'd just like "control over my life" to be more than deciding to join the Bloods or the Crips.

EDIT: Sorry, I don't have the same problem with Wikipedia.  Sure, I wouldn't want my lawyer using it to prepare my defense.  But it works perfectly fine for shooting the shit with the intertards.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007, 05:22:12 PM by tazelbain »

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Reply #14 on: February 19, 2007, 05:21:43 PM

Or are they so "distasteful" that you don't want anyone to play them at all?
I thought it was you, in one of the WAR threads, that said Open PvP was well suited to MMO because it can give players a feeling that they part of the world and control over their lifes.  On the surface, this seems like a compelling argument to me.  I'd just like "control over my life" to be more than deciding to join the Bloods or the Crips.

Open PvP? I don't recall ever saying that. I'm just an advocate of persistency and conquest. I'm not into being overly intrusive to non-participants (i.e. open pvp).

Sure, I'd prefer an open pvp system....It's easier to accomplish those other two goals if you go that route.....But seeing that most non-pvp mmo players like to flock to every game just for the fucking sake of it, then there's little choice in the matter. You have to make some amendments for them.
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Reply #15 on: February 19, 2007, 06:04:29 PM

Im confused.

What else can PvP be? This topic is silly.

Expect poison from the standing water.
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Reply #16 on: February 19, 2007, 07:10:03 PM

What else can PvP be? This topic is silly.

Well, the obvious alternative would be solo PvP, at least in some form.  I think there was a thread a while back in the Game Design forum about the problem of focused fire, and why it seems to be the pinnacle of strategic genius in most PvP MMOs, and I think these are mostly the same issue.  The mechanics in most MMOs typically heavily favour groups for design reasons; given equal damage output, two guys firing at one guy can kill that one guy before he can kill either of his attackers.  At the same time, drawbacks to having a huge group of people wandering around are largely removed to prevent griefing (no accidental team damage, no collision detection, no concerns about stealth or cover, et cetera).  So, as I see it, most games are intentionally very heavily slanted towards groups because most devs want to encourage people to group. 
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Reply #17 on: February 19, 2007, 07:27:20 PM

It's a easy short cut to create a nation identity based on a racial identity and this too is common in RL.
There's a number of easy ways to create common identity, enough to rally people. In MMOs, many times the commonality is drawn from personality. It's not that everyone is the same, but rather that sub-groups come together because they realize they can all get along in a diversely social group. The most stable guilds are ones that have many types of players, with the common thread being either an open mind or simply acceptance, whether through longevity of social ties or ones rooted in the real world.

Eve is different from all other "open PvP" games because it's got the largest amount of players contested resources of any game that has ever come before it. What's concurrency these days? Something like 30k? 30-freaking-thousand-avatars. Even the most jaded have to assume at least 20 thousand people. All on one server.

The galaxy there is a good microcosm of how people band together. And some of the larger organizations have transcended "gang" long ago. You can't have organizations with thousands of people (as some do afaik) and not have a means to govern them, pull resources and work from them, mette out rewards to them, provide for basic "social services" (as they exist in Eve).

Nah, Eve is a very different beast altogether. Even SB was sharded, as is Lineage 2. And while GW isn't technically sharded and is technically PvP, that's really more a fun sport than an immersive world.

So what is the root of your question Tazelbain? You've read enough stuff to know that most PvP is modeled around real world events. Even a throw-away CTF fight in an FPS game is about resource gathering and control and defense.
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Reply #18 on: February 19, 2007, 07:31:53 PM

Well, the obvious alternative would be solo PvP, at least in some form.  I think there was a thread a while back in the Game Design forum about the problem of focused fire, and why it seems to be the pinnacle of strategic genius in most PvP MMOs, and I think these are mostly the same issue.  The mechanics in most MMOs typically heavily favour groups for design reasons; given equal damage output, two guys firing at one guy can kill that one guy before he can kill either of his attackers.  At the same time, drawbacks to having a huge group of people wandering around are largely removed to prevent griefing (no accidental team damage, no collision detection, no concerns about stealth or cover, et cetera).  So, as I see it, most games are intentionally very heavily slanted towards groups because most devs want to encourage people to group. 

The only way to do "solo" PvP would be duels. I have yet to see an implementation of duels where it actually impacted anything, but I suppose it could. Duels are typically looked at as just goofing off, not actually participating in any type of "real" PvP.

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Reply #19 on: February 19, 2007, 07:39:00 PM

Or you could do the GW henchmen thing (or like the CoV Mastermind, or what they're talking about for TR). Why not let a soloing PvPer walk around the countryside with some NPC guards? Would be a bit of both worlds: safety in numbers (though they'd still be dumb, at least there's numbers, enough so to escape) while the feel of group-based PvP without the time-suck. Lots of details go into doing this right, but I think it's an interesting way to go.
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Reply #20 on: February 19, 2007, 07:45:50 PM

The ability to make some sort of difference on the world, eg by owning a part of it, building structures there and using its resources as in Eve, is about as meaningful as it gets. Maybe there is some way it could be more meaningful, but what? What would you like it to be?

UO PvP, back in the pre-Trammel days when I played at least, had nothing in common with Eve btw. It was (pretend) murder and theft pure and simple, except for the roleplaying guilds who used PvP in a very different way.
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Reply #21 on: February 19, 2007, 07:49:49 PM

Well, the obvious alternative would be solo PvP, at least in some form.   

The only way to do "solo" PvP would be duels. I have yet to see an implementation of duels where it actually impacted anything, but I suppose it could. Duels are typically looked at as just goofing off, not actually participating in any type of "real" PvP.

I'm not really thinking of duels, just the ability for a single player to accomplish things on his own.  In real life, one guy with a gun can seriously endanger a larger group of people.  And even if he isn't Van Damming his way around dual wielding machine guns, a single person can realistically impact a larger conflict if he chooses to.  Maybe he's a thief, stealing items.  Maybe he's a wealthy businessman, covertly funding rebels (EVE has this to a degree).  That kind of thing.  He wants to compete, wants to interact with other players, but doesn't automatically want to have to jump in a party of ten other people to do so without being vaporized.  Games rarely allow these kinds of mechanics, and when they do, they're often severely gimped, while group PvP options are not.
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Reply #22 on: February 19, 2007, 09:39:02 PM

I donno, I see stuff like that in Eve all the time. I couldn't count how many times I've been chased around by a lone pirate or single handedly dispersed a mining operation.

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Reply #23 on: February 20, 2007, 06:38:48 AM

I posted some thoughts over on my blog: http://www.psychochild.org/?p=269

Mostly in response to Lum's response to this thread, but I thought people here might be interested.

Have fun,

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Reply #24 on: February 20, 2007, 07:50:09 AM

Lum responded to this thread? 

To the topic, I'm confused as to why it's distasteful.  Gangs are TEH BAD because they are violent, but looking at that in the context of a game, if you don't like violence, then what are you doing straying away from, say, Tetris?

Witty banter not included.
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Reply #25 on: February 20, 2007, 08:23:15 AM

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Reply #26 on: February 20, 2007, 09:08:23 AM

 rolleyes Look everybody, it's 'Reason why I hate blogs #343234321234'!

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Reply #27 on: February 20, 2007, 09:10:42 AM

After reading both blogs, my question is:  "Is Braveheart a completely fabricated, unrealistic Holywood scenario?"  I'm fuzzy about how combat really went in the Middle Ages, but modern combat does seem to be all about winning at whatever costs, no "fair fights" anywhere.  And I think it was like that in the Middle Ages too.

I think that whatever else PvP can be made into, it'll feel artificial and will probably not be accepted by players.

Re: EVE, comparing the China server with the Euro server, it seems to me that the TQ community was slowly grown into what it is today.  If they open a new shard, it's likely it'll go down the drain as one gang will likely conquer everything and then sour the shard for everyone else.
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Reply #28 on: February 20, 2007, 09:55:13 AM

Quote
Lum blog

Lum, you looked at history of mmorpg PvP through distorted prism of hear-say and reached wrong conclusions. I think its prevalent problem with PvP design is that it never done by someone who actually, you know, serious PvPer. Instead it is what other people think it ought to be and it falls short of what PvPers *want*. Aside from EvE and SB PvP in mmorpg market can be categorized as 'lacking'. It is designed as a distraction from PvE grind, dumbed-down for PvE people with designed limitations to prevent anyone from doing well.

PvPers *want* gang warfare and turf wars! What you think was 'success' of DAoC was a monumental failure for all PvPers out there, to the point that DAoC is not considered a PvP game. Small scale guild (gang) warfare over points of control (turf) is ideal state of PvP in any game. For example in Shadowbane its moved past gang warfare, and into large Nations composed of multiple guilds that formed Alliances and it become less-than-ideal. Its became too much of organization with too much logistics, politics and overhead. As a result fighting (what PvPers like to do) became less important than say politics, wealth and status acquisition and guild drama.

As to my list of lessons for any PvP designer:

1)   Even out playing field – standard gear/level/skills/whatever should be accessible to everyone in reasonable time. Call this ‘golden standard’, make sure its good enough to compete with whatever ‘best’ you put into the game and make sure nobody can be kept from reaching it.
2)   Aim for skill based PvP – you should give players enough options and enough template diversity to avoid cookie-cutter templates and predictable fights. PvP should be about paying attention to what is going on and reacting accordingly as oppose to mashing the same 3 buttons in specific order every time. There should be no ‘best way to fight’, just good counters to your opponent’s attacks.
3)   Slow it down – ideal fight should last at least 15-20 seconds and should consist of at least 5-6 individual actions. You should give enough time to act and react that less-than-ideal connection of 150-200 ping can compete.
4)   Limit effects of focus fire – you will have group warfare in your game and people will get focus fired. If you don’t take steps to prevent it from being instadeath your group warfare will be lousy regardless of how great your 1v1. Good methods to limit focus fire are – short invulnerabilities, damage feedback powers, maximum damage rate or damage saturation, friendly fire and splash damage, collision and line of sight.
5)   Add objectives to fight over – if it is going to be turf wars make sure turf has something desirable. Create few very desirable and tons of less desirable objects to control and make holding more than few highly problematic, this way more groups get a chance at ‘controlling’ something, not just best few.
6)   Add effective power reach where distance matters and adds logistical complications. You should be able to ‘pick up and leave’ and move away from ‘lost cause’ situation. Don’t ever implement instant travel or effective teleportation or summon abilities. It should be very difficult to mover anything but small group over large distances.
7)   Limit how much you can lose if you keep losing. String of bad losses should never put you into situation where you can’t realistically win again.
8)   Limit effective maximum size of any given group of players – make sure that bigger is better but up to a very hard limit and make sure that this limit dictates that there will be a number of different groups on any given server.
9)   Don’t instance – unpredictability of who will show up to any fight is what makes politics important. It puts checks in place on guilds that now have to consider use of their influence and power or face bad odds. It limits 'poor sportsmanship' guilds
10)    Make sure individual effort always matter and that it is possible to solo at all times. You should not be always forced to group to enjoy PvP, so design solo objectives and/or ways to solo. Good way to do it is via stealth classes.
11)    Segregate PvP+ and PvP-, there should be no PvP- players around PvP fights - it leads to all sorts of bad things.
12)    Always remove player from the area after death, there should be no reason whatsoever to linger or come back once fight is done. This will greatly limit all negative post-fight interaction. You do need to have in-game channels for communication, but not trash talking.
13)    Start everyone able to contribute to fighting, even if it is support or mop-up roles
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 11:32:45 AM by sinij »

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Reply #29 on: February 20, 2007, 10:19:51 AM

Quote from: tazelbain
People mocked the r30s, but they were just cutting to the heart of matter and calling it what it is.

A very cool group of people. I think the game ended when they left.

rolleyes Look everybody, it's 'Reason why I hate blogs #343234321234'!

I remember the time we destroyed Lum and his guild on Siege Perilous. He sure taught us a good lesson when he posted a whiny diatribe on his blog (It was called a rant site before they came up with a stupid name for it.) the next day.

Lum's pvp post read like a PETA barbecue recipe.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 10:23:24 AM by LC »
Nebu
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Reply #30 on: February 20, 2007, 10:24:38 AM

As to my list of lessons for any PvP designer:

1)   Even out playing field – standard gear/level/skills/whatever should be accessible to everyone in reasonable time. Call this ‘golden standard’, make sure its good enough to compete with whatever ‘best’ you put into the game and make sure nobody can be kept from reaching it.
2)   Aim for skill based PvP – you should give players enough options and enough template diversity to avoid cook-cutters and predictable fights. PvP should be about paying attention to what is going on and reacting accordingly as oppose to mashing the same 3 buttons in specific order every time. There should be no ‘best way to fight’, just good counters to your opponent’s attacks.
3)   Slow it down – ideal fight should last at least 15-20 seconds and should consist of at least 5-6 individual actions. You should give enough time to act and react that less-than-ideal connection of 150-200 ping can compete.
4)   Limit effects of focus fire – you will have group warfare in your game and people will get focus fired. If you don’t take steps to prevent it from being instadeath your group warfare will be lousy regardless of how great your 1v1. Good methods to limit focus fire are – short invulnerabilities, damage feedback powers, maximum damage rate or damage saturation, friendly fire and splash damage, collision and line of sight.
5)   Add objectives to fight over – if it is going to be turf wars make sure turf has something desirable. Create few very desirable and tons of less desirable objects to control and make holding more than few highly problematic, this way more groups get a chance at ‘controlling’ something, not just best few.
6)   Add effective power reach where distance matters and adds logistical complications. You should be able to ‘pick up and leave’ and move away from ‘lost cause’ situation. Don’t ever implement instant travel or effective teleportation or summon abilities. It should be very difficult to mover anything but small group over large distances.
7)   Limit how much you can lose if you keep losing. String of bad losses should never put you into situation where you can’t realistically win again.
8)   Limit effective maximum size of any given group of players – make sure that bigger is better but up to a very hard limit and make sure that this limit dictates that there will be a number of different groups on any given server.
9)   Don’t instance – unpredictability of who will show up to any fight is what makes politics important. It puts checks in place on guilds that now have to consider use of their influence and power or face bad odds.
10)    Make sure individual effort always matter and that it is possible to solo at all times. You should not be always forced to group to enjoy PvP, so design solo objectives and/or ways to solo. Good way to do it is via stealth classes.
11)    Segregate PvP+ and PvP-, there should be no PvP- players around PvP fights - it leads to all sorts of bad things.

I actually think Lum hit it pretty dead on.  Here's why:

1) I agree with you.  DAoC does this well requiring most players to have a mix of player crafted gear and reasonably easy to obtain drops.  Gear should not be the toon.

2) I agree about skill-based PvP, but let's not forget that there are MANY types of skill.  Most FPS players want skill = twitch, TBS players want skill = strategy.  I think that the ideal would be a mix of reaction and strategy, but geared a tad towards the latter due to latency etc.

3) You're still too fast.  I found that DAoC really started to get interesting when an 8v8 fight would last 3-6 minutes.  It was long enough to ensure that reaction and strategy had balance and guaranteed that the team to lose a man first could still have a chance to recover and win.  I'd love to see fights last at least 3-5 minutes with epic battles of a larger scale lasting much longer.

4) Easy ways to accomplish this are removal of tools that allow players to easily target the same player.  /assist macros and/or target bots need to be removed from PvP games.

5) Adding objectives is important, but resources may make it even more interesting (a la EVE).  Currently DAoC lacks any real incentive for PvP.  Making it a fight for some valuable resource would make the dynamic much stronger.

6) Agree again.  Travel should be organic rather than instantaneous.  Give players a decision to make about exit strategies and similarly, give terrain advantages to those cunning enough to recognize them.  

7 - 11) Agree completely.

I think between you and Lum you could design my ideal PvP mmog.  Just promise me that there will be no elves.

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Reply #31 on: February 20, 2007, 10:24:52 AM

Quote
Lum's pvp post read like a PETA barbecue recipe.

Oh so true, but be careful you will get him ranting about Eeeevvvill antisocial PKs that bring coordinated teams to fights and rely on teamwork and social networks to excel. If this is antisocial I don't want to be part of your society.

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Reply #32 on: February 20, 2007, 10:25:11 AM

Lum responded to this thread? 

To the topic, I'm confused as to why it's distasteful.  Gangs are TEH BAD because they are violent, but looking at that in the context of a game, if you don't like violence, then what are you doing straying away from, say, Tetris?
LOL, I am sorry I used the word 'distasteful'. 
Violence is not a problem.  It's the motivation for the violence that is at issue.  Why should I care which group of thugs control the Windmill? Open PvP interest me for its potential to give players control over their fate.  I just wonder if it can be used for something other than a virtual dick measuring contest.

Question of a national identity is interesting to me as a motivation factor.  If I can personally identify with a nation's identiy, I could see them as freedom fighters, not thugs, and feel inclined to help them capture the Windmill.  Silhouetting on the Nation level.

It's interesting that what little national identity that exists in EvE is brought in from outside world by the players. 


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Reply #33 on: February 20, 2007, 10:29:41 AM

4) Easy ways to accomplish this are removal of tools that allow players to easily target the same player.  /assist macros and/or target bots need to be removed from PvP games.

Don't think this can ever work with dedicated group of people, it will just widen gap of haves and have-nots. How do you ever prevent people coordinating over voice chat from hitting the same target? If you make it difficult only the best will be able to pull it off well, making them that much better and harder to kill by Regular Joe.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Nebu
Terracotta Army
Posts: 17516


Reply #34 on: February 20, 2007, 10:32:09 AM

Don't think this can ever work with dedicated group of people, it will just widen gap of haves and have-nots. How do you ever prevent people coordinating over voice chat from hitting the same target? If you make it difficult only the best will be able to pull it off well, making them that much better and harder to kill by Regular Joe.

You incorporate voice chat into the game. I believe this is what we're going to see in the future.  If players choose to not utilize it, then they will have to live with the disadvantage.  I think players in PvP games already have come to terms with the fact that noone reads the chat box anymore.  Designers are beginning to realize this too.

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

-  Mark Twain
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