To preface, this is NOT about which type of PvP is better! I just wanted to share some personal musings on the current state of the gaming community and what it might mean for us. We all know that PvP in MMOs, whether we love it or hate it (and we ALL have opinions on it!) is here to stay for the time being. Games in development right now almost all have PvP to some degree, some more organized than others. The PvE only game is practically non-existent. The market is making it clear they want PvP. But what is the answer here? And how do we, as a community, grow with it?
Everyone likes different things, and every major decision for a game’s direction requires a ridiculous amount of thought and analysis. The market doesn’t seem currently have clear winners about successful PvP styles, so it’s an interesting time to be gaming if you’re into the dev market.
Organized PvP, such as WoW, or essentially, PvE, is still very popular. There are battlegrounds, PvP servers (modified this most recent expansion, but you get the idea), etc. Great settings for organized e-sports, but I’m not sure it’s enough for people anymore. PvP in the open world is consensual with no punishment. Still clearly popular, but you don’t see much in the way of dev thinking this is a solid model for the future. For drama purposes, this is the easiest model for OTG chapters to lead, as there is less opportunity for drama.
Realm vs realm, while popular, doesn’t seem to be holding people anymore. They play, they leave; they’re not sticking around for long. I think this was a style that OTG has worked with successfully as far as organization and guild activities. I see this in a lot of dev games still, but the higher # of backers and $ seem to be going for the more open styles.
PvP restrictions by area look to be a popular choice, especially as the market swings slowly from PvE to PvP. Realm v realm was the first step. The next step is to limit resources. The drawback here is the type of player that seems to like to gather and explore is not the type that wants to get jumped while doing it. A lot of risk vs reward with this model. How much PvP is fun for me to gather and craft my wares to sell. There is potential here, but it bores the more serious PvP market. This market segment is most interesting to me. I think all of the caravan ideas out there are amazing. The idea of populating a cart with my favorite crafts, wares and supplies to sell to others, and I love game economics. I’m curious to see what this will become and I see some amazing potential for OTG chapters to really capitalize on this as it allows for a balance of PvP style interests.
Along with open PvP areas, Battle Royale systems are popping up everywhere. I find these to be great fun, but only for short periods of time. My character feels equal and disposable, with the same opportunities as everyone else. It’s fast paced and low risks.
We seem to seeing that open PvP doesn’t work. At least, not without some semblance of moderation. There seems to be a divergence from theme park (guide me, give me quests, give me a path, among other things) to more of a sandbox style of gaming (allow me to create my world and the situations around me, again, among other things). This is allowing the opportunity to create newer, likely better, limitations on an open PvP style that WILL work.
The two balancing acts devs are trying to maintain for open PvP are attacker and attackee punishments. Gone are the days my losing everything to my killer. Also, gone of the days my killer walks off completely free of punishment. Many of the dev games out there right now are testing various degrees of bounty systems, loss of my stuff, and ways to counter ganking. Everyone agrees that 2 people dominating your server and chasing off the rest of your population is only fun to 2 people (and 2 people don’t pay the bills!). Balancing fun and fair is incredibly difficult. This gaming style is going to be the hardest for OTG, and it’s growing in popularity. Games like this take #s, and as a community, we have the least experience with this style of game. There is a lot of potential here.
In the end, most of us are not game developers, and we can only guess at how complicated these issues might be to decide. My vision, vs my pocketbook, vs I want people to play, vs I want to like the game I’ve created. What’s gonna work? How does OTG grow with it?
In the end, I guess what I’m hoping, is that I can encourage discussion about these topics as the gaming community evolves into different types of games. We can learn a lot from these dev games as they try various solutions. What do YOU like? What seems to be working (whether you like it or not), what’s not? What are your favorite games trying and how does the community respond? How can we help build communities for OTG as the population in these games grow?
PS: I know this can be a very heated topic for some. Many of you feel very strongly about this topic, as you should! Clearly, gaming is an important hobby for many of us, and we pay these companies a lot of money and give a lot of our time, in the name of fun and amusement. It’s not uncommon for topics such as this to end up locked. Let’s try to refrain from attacks, but if you must, the TOPIC, not the person making the post. I tossed some personal opinion in here. Many will disagree. So what?! We’d have a really boring community if we all agreed, and very few games from which to pick!
Think I wrote enough? That’ll teach some of you to say I should write something!