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Author Topic: Random PvP ideas  (Read 31939 times)
DLRiley
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Reply #70 on: May 25, 2009, 04:26:43 PM

DLRiley, nobody cares about you or your phony war. Go EMO about it in politics.

Clearly i was talking about first person shooters but thx for the troll.
gryeyes
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Reply #71 on: May 25, 2009, 04:55:50 PM

But then your statement becomes so moronic as to almost make one dizzy. People were giving you too much credit.
sinij
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Reply #72 on: June 12, 2011, 09:25:08 AM

The more I play PvP mmorpgs, the more I realize that basics of PvP design are not understood . #1 and #5 seem to be the worst offenders.

If you are designing PvP for your mmorpg, feel free to send me PM and I will be more than happy to provide you with feedback.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 09:27:03 AM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Malakili
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Reply #73 on: June 12, 2011, 10:28:00 AM

The more I play PvP mmorpgs, the more I realize that basics of PvP design are not understood . #1 and #5 seem to be the worst offenders.

If you are designing PvP for your mmorpg, feel free to send me PM and I will be more than happy to provide you with feedback.



World War 2 Online is still one of the best examples actually in my opinion.  And they do 1 and 5 well.  The biggest problem with that game though is that the learning curve is a little tough (though actually not so bad unless you want to be in the air force) and most people don't like the slow pacing of a sim.

Also, hello to this thread after two years, but its probably worth revisiting, what with Planetside 2 supposedly coming.  I still think the biggest problem with PvP is that someone has to lose, and in an MMO there is more to lose than in a random pub match of Call of Duty or Halo.  Most people simply don't want to lose that much, and since humans seem more interested in not losing than in winning, I think they just get turned off the game entirely.

pxib
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Reply #74 on: June 12, 2011, 02:56:20 PM

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.
...
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.
It's been a few years since I last posted in this thread and I've done some thinking. My obsession with the necessity of winning was based on the framework the MMO had established: PvE is about constant winning. With that in mind, many of the problems you mention come sharply into focus. Even playing field? PvE takes place in a playing field wildly sloped in the player's favor. Objectives to fight over? In PvE, objectives are places to exploit and discard on one's way past them. So I've come to believe that most of the difficulties with MMO PvP are based on player expectations created by the Skinner box model these games have adopted.

Why did they adopt it? The game itself isn't much fun. With a Skinner box and disposable objectives, it doesn't need to be. Complex game dynamics are difficult to design and balance... simple quests and conquerable content, considerably less so. For the former every possible interaction must be examined, for the latter it's just a yes or no question: Will the player beat this easily enough?

What keeps me coming back in a multiplayer FPS or RTS is my effort to analyze my own failures and to consider alternate options. That, at least as much as its Free to Play nature, is why I stuck with Guild Wars so long. In addition to improving my basic hand-eye coordination and combat situational awareness, there was always one more build to try. With TF2 it was a matter of figuring out the specifics of map layout and the particulars of timing and aiming shots. Tacticle depth rather than breadth. Either is fine.

That is what the MMOs are missing. Combat maps just aren't that interesting, gameplay dynamics aren't designed to reward much in the way of practice, and players are used to stomping casually across the enemy masses by pushing the same three buttons in roughly the same order. When PvP provides neither Skinner box rewards (wins) nor uniquely educational ones (tactics), there's no good reason to stick around.

I'm not sure that creating successful Skinner box PvP is possible, much less actually worthwhile.
sinij
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Reply #75 on: June 12, 2011, 03:12:16 PM

For PvP its actually called sandbox (for 'sand in your vagina box', and no I am not kidding).

Most dedicated PvPers want game as open-ended as possible, story, quests and so on only detract from this experience. Crafting is generally liked, but only because it adds resources to fight over and allows for "full loot" design that most prefer. Yes, it is very niche, but don't assume that everyone is permanently perverted by DIKU cloning that is/was going for last decade or so. Now, beauty of PvP content that while PvPers prefer all these things, most are content with less than full package. You also don't need to design as much new content, because "the other guy" learns, adapts and generally will do everything to be as hard as possible to kill.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 03:14:25 PM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
pxib
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Reply #76 on: June 12, 2011, 03:26:28 PM

Two potential paradoxes there:
If PvPers want a game as open-ended as possible, don't fixed objectives turn them off?
If they don't have to design new content, why are PvP MMOs constantly tinkering with power levels?
sinij
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Reply #77 on: June 12, 2011, 09:34:09 PM

Quote
If PvPers want a game as open-ended as possible, don't fixed objectives turn them off?

Ideal scenario is something along these lines:

Clan A builds a mine. This mine comes online and starts producing resources. Clan B shows up and takes over the mine. Clan A destroys the mine to deny Clan B control of the mine.

Less ideal scenario:

Clan A takes control over static mine. Clan B shows up and takes over the mine. Clan A shows up and takes over the mine.

Bad scenario:

Mine exists, you can temporarily control it, but you can't practically maintain control of it unless you sit and guard it 24/7. You also can't destroy it.

Worst case scenario:

The mine is in safe area and you cannot attack other players using it unless you declare clan war on them.

Quote
If they don't have to design new content, why are PvP MMOs constantly tinkering with power levels?

Incompetence. As a designer of PvP title your concerns are a) stop exploits and cheats to ensure fair playing field b) balance the game to the best of your abilities c) (optional) add more objectives/ways to facilitate conflict.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 09:38:24 PM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Malakili
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Reply #78 on: June 13, 2011, 12:14:44 PM

So I've come to believe that most of the difficulties with MMO PvP are based on player expectations created by the Skinner box model these games have adopted.



I think the problem is shoe horning PvP into games which are based on that model as well.  I think the better idea is to take successful PvP games and try to figure out how to make that into an MMO, not try to successful MMO games and make them into PvP games.
sinij
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Reply #79 on: June 13, 2011, 03:48:28 PM

I liked Garrot's recent interview, I don't necessary agree with him, but I think he has a point when he talked about non-combatant roles.


Wait a second... non-combatant roles? This thread is about PvP!


Well, since we are talking about how to build a PvP game we might as well look at the whole picture.  I really mean #11 "Segregate PvP+ and PvP-, there should be no PvP- players around PvP fights", if you take one thing, make sure it is this point. ... BUT! This does not mean do not include PvP- activities into your "hardcore PvP sandbox title". Here is dirty little secret - even 100%+ Bartle's killers don't necessary want to PvP all the time. As long as you tie these activities in coherent way into PvP you are only adding depth to PvP conflict. Crafting is great way to introduce 'PvP-' activity into otherwise PvP title, but you don't need to limit yourself to crafting.

Here is how crafting can interact with PvP:

You PvP for control points that produce resources, then you sell them on global auction to highest bidder. If you restrict trade system in any way guilds will internalize crafting roles, you want to aim for as open, hassle free trading system as possible. Crafters operate via resource market system, buying resources at one rate and producing consumable goods at a markup and don't have to engage in PvP. For extra twist - make global auction take heavy cut (30% or so), but then offer crafters an option to open local vendors that sell their own goods. Bonus points - add a role to transporting, while global AH would always deliver your resources/good worldwide, some players might want to try transporting resources themselves to get that 30% cut AH would take.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 03:51:09 PM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
pxib
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Reply #80 on: June 13, 2011, 05:38:34 PM

I think the better idea is to take successful PvP games and try to figure out how to make that into an MMO, not try to successful MMO games and make them into PvP games.

Can you think of any MMOs that aren't based on the Skinner box model? They all seem to involve one form or another of grinding in order to buy better stuff. Only EVE has eliminated the necessity of foozle whacking (experience is functionally based on the age of the account, and ISK grinding is based largely on politics). Yet even there a huge number of people must still spend mindless hours mining and ratting.

LEVEL UP! is kind of built into the gaming framework. It's a fantastic motivator. What replaces that?
Malakili
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Reply #81 on: June 13, 2011, 08:24:32 PM

I think the better idea is to take successful PvP games and try to figure out how to make that into an MMO, not try to successful MMO games and make them into PvP games.

Can you think of any MMOs that aren't based on the Skinner box model? They all seem to involve one form or another of grinding in order to buy better stuff. Only EVE has eliminated the necessity of foozle whacking (experience is functionally based on the age of the account, and ISK grinding is based largely on politics). Yet even there a huge number of people must still spend mindless hours mining and ratting.

LEVEL UP! is kind of built into the gaming framework. It's a fantastic motivator. What replaces that?

Fun?  No seriously, there are millions of people putting in just as much time to Call of Duty, harness whatever is driving those people.  I REALLY don't think its the tacked on leveling system. (Did modern warfare even have one?). 
sinij
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Reply #82 on: June 13, 2011, 09:29:18 PM

Moving away from levels is enough, you want to keep character advancement or reputations become meaningless. Having reputation is very important aspect of any PvP game, via player reputation you can get into player justice, accountability and all other social aspects that make community possible. So, no character advancement = no meaningful community = persistence falls apart.

As to character advancement - per-use character skill gains is nearly ideal system (if you can solve macoing) for a PvP title. More you use something better your character becomes at doing it.  You should be able to compete from early on, and can specialize to get to viable, yet narrow-focus, competitiveness.  This way character advancement is mostly about getting more options, and not necessary more raw power associated with level-based system.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 09:32:04 PM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Malakili
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Reply #83 on: June 14, 2011, 05:14:13 AM

Moving away from levels is enough, you want to keep character advancement or reputations become meaningless. Having reputation is very important aspect of any PvP game, via player reputation you can get into player justice, accountability and all other social aspects that make community possible. So, no character advancement = no meaningful community = persistence falls apart.

As to character advancement - per-use character skill gains is nearly ideal system (if you can solve macoing) for a PvP title. More you use something better your character becomes at doing it.  You should be able to compete from early on, and can specialize to get to viable, yet narrow-focus, competitiveness.  This way character advancement is mostly about getting more options, and not necessary more raw power associated with level-based system.

I'm not sure how the kind of character advancement you are talking about has anything to do with reputation. 
tazelbain
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Reply #84 on: June 14, 2011, 07:31:16 AM

To my mind, GW PvP skill purchasing is nearly prefect.  Buying any one particular competitive skill set is not difficult.  But buying them all is a rather large investment.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 01:54:54 PM by tazelbain »

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CadetUmfer
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Reply #85 on: June 14, 2011, 01:49:32 PM

Here's the PvP idea I thought of today: non-consensual PvP based on social relationships.

In addition to the "friend" relationship that's in every game, you now have another: "enemy". The player is involved in non-consensual PvP with their enemies, the friends of their enemies, and the enemies of their friends (clans work the same way).

To me it seems both meaningful and fair. Full open PvP (ala UO) does not work. The two common ways to make it work are to limit it by area (Eve) or time (old SWG) or both (WoW). The way I described retains the excitement of being vulnerable to PvP any time anywhere, but solves the griefing problem through social means: no one is friends or enemies with griefers, so they can't participate.

It's been years since I've played an MMO, but the most enjoyable PvP I participated in was against known enemies (individuals or clans). If you base your conflict around realm vs realm, or all vs all, these players have no real relationship with each other, griefing will be a huge problem. By basing conflict around social relationships that actually exist in the game, you'd get more fun less grief.

This also gives you new ways to add meaning to PvP, but indirectly, by adding meaning to friend/enemy relationships. Say you have to be friends to trade. Well I know schild makes the best weapons, It would take me forever to find ones as good...BUT he's enemies with half of the PennyArcade clan, and I realllly don't want them on my ass.

Anthony Umfer
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Reply #86 on: June 14, 2011, 02:08:30 PM

In addition to the "friend" relationship that's in every game, you now have another: "enemy". The player is involved in non-consensual PvP with their enemies, the friends of their enemies, and the enemies of their friends (clans work the same way).

Do you choose enemies as you choose your friends, or do have them assigned to you?

Do you have one enemy per friend? If I have five friends and you have fifty, I'm not inclined to participate. If participation is mandatory, I'm not inclined to play your game - it would be systemized ganking.

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pxib
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Reply #87 on: June 14, 2011, 02:09:36 PM

How difficult would it be to unfriend or unenemy someone? I imagine friend requests in this system are a matter of dual consent, are enemies the same? Do you get a dialogue box when somebody wants to make an enemy of you? If you're being attacked by the friend of one of your enemies, and one of his friends is healing her... can you attack that friend? Can that friend not heal her at the moment? What if somebody else is attacking her while she attacks you and that person is an enemy to both she and her friend but totally unrelated to you. Can she be healed under those circumstances? If, on the other hand, friend/enemy of enemy/friend goes many levels deep what happens when the relationships interact such that somebody is both friend and enemy to you?

What makes you think that griefers aren't anybody's friends (or enemies)? Outside of the most absurd and extreme behavior, griefing is largely in the eye of the beholder... and there are moments of weakness when just about everybody feels a bit of grief is appropriate.

I like the idea, mind you, I'm just not sure it's either as easy or as straightforward a solution as you imply.
CadetUmfer
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Reply #88 on: June 14, 2011, 04:11:51 PM

Do you choose enemies as you choose your friends, or do have them assigned to you?

Do you have one enemy per friend? If I have five friends and you have fifty, I'm not inclined to participate. If participation is mandatory, I'm not inclined to play your game - it would be systemized ganking.

You choose enemies just as you do friends, there isn't a ratio or anything like that.

If you have 5 friends and I have 50, then yeah, maybe you don't want to be enemies with me. Your friend/enemy relationships are a manifestation of social power.

It's not mandatory. If you have no friends or enemies, you are not participating in PvP.

How difficult would it be to unfriend or unenemy someone? I imagine friend requests in this system are a matter of dual consent, are enemies the same? Do you get a dialogue box when somebody wants to make an enemy of you? If you're being attacked by the friend of one of your enemies, and one of his friends is healing her... can you attack that friend? Can that friend not heal her at the moment? What if somebody else is attacking her while she attacks you and that person is an enemy to both she and her friend but totally unrelated to you. Can she be healed under those circumstances? If, on the other hand, friend/enemy of enemy/friend goes many levels deep what happens when the relationships interact such that somebody is both friend and enemy to you?

What makes you think that griefers aren't anybody's friends (or enemies)? Outside of the most absurd and extreme behavior, griefing is largely in the eye of the beholder... and there are moments of weakness when just about everybody feels a bit of grief is appropriate.

I like the idea, mind you, I'm just not sure it's either as easy or as straightforward a solution as you imply.

Right, both are dual-consent, like facebook. You'd want an X hour cooldown after changing someone's status, so you can't abuse it.

I hadn't considered the healing situation. SWG dealt with it with a Temporary Enemy Flag -- the unrelated healer would be attackable for 5 minutes. It's not perfect but it could work here.

Alternatively, you could expand the circle of PvP-eligible players dynamically. That is, suppose normally ONLY my enemies are PvP-on. If one of my enemies is around, THEN their friends are also PvP-on (whereas if I just saw their friend normally they would be PvP-off). If one of my enemies is around, and one of their friends is around, then that friend's friends are also PvP-on, etc. That way you can still have large fights with people many degrees away from you, but those people couldn't attack you normally. Yeah I think I like this way much better.

You could be running missions with some random player, get back into town to find that your friend's friend is enemies with their friend's friend and now you're all duking it out.

Griefing certainly wouldn't go away. But the really bad ones, players that are primarily there to grief, I think would be ostracized. The griefing that does happen would have a subtle difference: when a stranger ganks you, you get mad at the game. When someone you know ganks you,  you get mad at them.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 04:34:18 PM by CadetUmfer »

Anthony Umfer
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CadetUmfer
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Reply #89 on: June 14, 2011, 04:24:54 PM

Quote is not edit  why so serious?

Anthony Umfer
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pxib
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Reply #90 on: June 14, 2011, 04:37:44 PM

Alternatively, you could expand the circle of PvP-eligible players dynamically. [...] Yeah I think I like this way much better.
So do I, but it's a combinatorial explosion of database interactions every time somebody new arrives on the scene... and it's still pretty easy to circuvent. I can imagine, for example, a whole class of middleman mules. Characters who maintain friendships with both crafters and their customers, for example, then only log on in order to safely pass goods around what would otherwise be enemy blockades.
Sheepherder
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Reply #91 on: June 15, 2011, 08:39:05 PM

But the really bad ones, players that are primarily there to grief, I think would be ostracized.

You are wrong.
CadetUmfer
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Reply #92 on: June 15, 2011, 09:18:24 PM

How so? Why would you opt-in to being enemies with a known griefer or their friends? I don't think griefers are all that involved with the community outside of their circle of friends.

Alternatively, you could expand the circle of PvP-eligible players dynamically. [...] Yeah I think I like this way much better.
So do I, but it's a combinatorial explosion of database interactions every time somebody new arrives on the scene... and it's still pretty easy to circuvent. I can imagine, for example, a whole class of middleman mules. Characters who maintain friendships with both crafters and their customers, for example, then only log on in order to safely pass goods around what would otherwise be enemy blockades.

Performance issues can be worked around. It certainly wouldn't involve the database, your friend list would be cached when you login. It's just a matter of having a good algorithm to find the closest relationship (distance) between 2 players (nodes) in an area (graph)...A* would be a good start.

Sure there are ways to circumvent the system to avoid participating, but I don't see that as a big deal. It's much easier to not go into PvP zones, or to not turn your PvP flag on. You can use other rules to limit this if you wanted (eg you can't even equip items crafted by your enemies--don't like the idea, just an example)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 09:34:14 PM by CadetUmfer »

Anthony Umfer
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Ashamanchill
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Reply #93 on: June 15, 2011, 10:24:34 PM

I don't mean to be too negative here, I like the idea of this game, but I think you have just invented Street Fighter.

Player 1: Hey guy, you wanna be my enemy?
Player 2: Sure!
Player 1: Well grab a controller.

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Reply #94 on: June 16, 2011, 06:22:44 AM

Not sure I follow...you just described the duel mechanic that most MMOs have, not this system.

I think you mean that players would be unwilling to mutually agree to be enemies. Have you been on an MMO forum before? :P

It's just a matter of adding meaning to friend/enemy relationships. Examples could be:

1. "Notoriety" is how many enemies you have, and how notorious they are. In order to gain favor with a powerful warlord, to be able to access his quests and items, you need to maintain a certain level of notoriety.

2. You could tie NPC factions into it. Think Freelancer. As you do missions for a certain faction (or against that faction's enemies), it becomes more friendly to you. Eventually its enemies become your enemies (both players and other factions).

I've been working hard the past week or so to get friendly with the Bounty Hunters. They have some of the coolest items (flamethrowers, poison darts). Now that I'm in, I realize that a ton of...less savory players love to prey on Bounty Hunters, it's an easy way to get friendly with all of the criminal factions. Do I embrace these new enemies, or turn my back on my new faction allies?
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 06:33:50 AM by CadetUmfer »

Anthony Umfer
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Reply #95 on: June 16, 2011, 02:58:33 PM

How so? Why would you opt-in to being enemies with a known griefer or their friends? I don't think griefers are all that involved with the community outside of their circle of friends.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/
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Reply #96 on: June 17, 2011, 11:15:13 AM

Can you expand on your point a bit? It's hard to know what you mean from 3 words and a link.

Open PvP means you can fight
1. Any time
2. Any where
3. Any one

Since this doesn't work in a game as asymmetrical as an RPG, you have to restrict 1 or more. Every MMO with PvP primarily uses #1 and #2. #3 is used, but generally only for lore purposes (Alliance vs Horde) and less for gameplay.

I'm describing a system that primarily restricts #3. I think you're arguing that this is too prone to griefing, I'm trying to find out why.

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Reply #97 on: June 17, 2011, 02:57:47 PM

I'm not sure how the kind of character advancement you are talking about has anything to do with reputation.  

Here is distillation of this idea:  In PvP titles you want to be able to participate/contribute from Day 1 or have very fast character advancement. You don't want to have character advancement so fast that you can easily reroll to avoid your reputation.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
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Reply #98 on: June 17, 2011, 03:00:22 PM

Full open PvP (ala UO) does not work.

Are you aware of EVE, SB, DF?

Quote
In addition to the "friend" relationship that's in every game, you now have another: "enemy".  

Your idea won't fly because it does not appeal to any play style. PvE- have not interest in ever getting attacked, PvP+ players are not interested in restrictions on who they can attack and do not want to have PvP- players interfering with their PvP.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 03:03:29 PM by sinij »

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Reply #99 on: June 17, 2011, 03:07:14 PM

But the really bad ones, players that are primarily there to grief, I think would be ostracized.

You are wrong.

Indeed. Wrong BIG TIMES. Any PvP system that has "safe outs" will be plagued with griefers that will use PvP+ elements to grief and PvP- elements to escape retribution. Both full PvP and no PvP system have SIGNIFICANTLY less issues with griefers.  

Quote
I don't think griefers are all that involved with the community outside of their circle of friends.

Actually both griefers and PvPers are A LOT more organized and networked than your typical PvE- player, because you have to in order to succeed. Additionally griefers are also PvPers (but not other way around), you have to be decent at PvP to use it as a medium for griefing or you get your teeth kicked in and publicly humiliated.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 03:16:51 PM by sinij »

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Reply #100 on: June 17, 2011, 03:18:08 PM


Are you aware of EVE, SB, DF?

SB and DF failed.
EvE is not open PvP.

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Reply #101 on: June 17, 2011, 06:12:51 PM

Start your own thread if you want to discuss viability of open-PvP in mmorpgs and proselytize DIKU kill-10-rats cloning. This thread is about rules/implementation of PvP.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 08:18:35 PM by sinij »

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Reply #102 on: June 17, 2011, 06:21:18 PM

This thread is about rules/implementation of open PvP settings.

Sinij, what do you think about something like World War 2 Online?  Is that something you would consider "Open PvP" or is the genre too dissimilar to what you are talking about?  I think for gameplay reasons the game isn't very popular, but do you think something like that (24/7 faction based war, no PvE content, just fighting for control of the map, when one side takes control of a critical % (90% in WW2O), the map resets), is a viable choice, or is that really talking about something different than what you are after?
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Reply #103 on: June 17, 2011, 06:40:11 PM

My opinion on WW2OL tainted by flying tanks and SirBruce, so take it with a grain of salt. With that being said, I don't see how WW2OL can differentiate itself from FPS on a very large dynamic map. If anything FPS will eventually move toward that model.

Mmorpgs, when distilled down to core, boil down to character/guild advancement, and without this basic element you have something else. Think of it as build up/tear down kind of gameplay, if you just tear things down without building them up first you are not part of genre. For this reason I don't consider GW, DIablo2 or WW2OL to be mmorpgs.

Now, doesn't mean you can't have good PvP engagement in these games, often quite the opposite, but lets not confuse this discussion by muddying up the lines.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 06:42:15 PM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Malakili
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Reply #104 on: June 17, 2011, 06:47:34 PM

My opinion on WW2OL tainted by flying tanks and SirBruce, so take it with a grain of salt. With that being said, I don't see how WW2OL can differentiate itself from FPS on a very large dynamic map. If anything FPS will eventually move toward that model.

Mmorpgs, when distilled down to core, boil down to character/guild advancement, and without this basic element you have something else. Think of it as build up/tear down kind of gameplay, if you just tear things down without building them up first you are not part of genre. For this reason I don't consider GW, DIablo2 or WW2OL to be mmorpgs.

Now, doesn't mean you can't have good PvP engagement in these games, often quite the opposite, but lets not confuse this discussion by muddying up the lines.

Thats a fine answer, but it does mean I don't think I have much to add to this thread.  To my mind the future of PvP in MMOs lies outside of the RPG genre.
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