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Reichmar's Rant: For the Love of PvP: Pt. 1.
by Reichmar12, Member — Category: Editorials
Post #16821


Reichmar's Rant: For the love of PvP: Pt.1.

I've played a lot of online games over the years and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I enjoy the gameplay, adventure and the theatrical story telling. MMO, FPS, RPG; you name it and I've [failed] played it!

I've always gravitated towards fantasy MMOs for various reasons. Maybe its the fantasy, maybe its the story telling, or maybe its even my own love of medieval history. Whatever the reason, I just "get them". I play them and follow the storylines, I do the quests, grind the mobs and kill the bosses. I love messing with talent/skill trees, I love keybinds, I love to theorycraft.

But when it really comes down to it, I really love being able to take all of that and using it to decapitate another player. There's nothing as satisfying to me as beating someone else that put in as much time as you did to get that awesome sword or that clean-looking armor set. Being that guy, the one still standing while everyone else is lying in a pool of digital blood, is immensely satisfying. Being able to look at their corpses while you capture the flag, flip the node or score the winning kill not only tells you "I won" but it also tells you "I was better'.

It's that drive to win, that very human competitive nature, that fuels PvP. But lets be honest, there are a lot of games out there. Some do well, others do not. Some favor PvE while others favor PvP. Those that focus on competitive gameplay either get PvP or don't. While there are always loyal groups that stick to a particular title, most players don't if they aren't 100% happy with what they have.

Why do PvPers like some games and shun others? There has to be some sort of magic formula, some profane ritual that, once performed, governs whether PvPers like your product or not. As far as I'm concerned, there are several concepts that determine whether I give a game a chance. Lets start talking about two of them: Gameplay and Reward Structure.

For a game to "feel" good in PvP, it has to have smooth gameplay. The buttons need to do what they say they do all the time. They also need to feel responsive -- if you have an interrupt, it has to go off in that split second you need it to. You also can't be fighting things like camera angles or glaring bugs and glitches such as graphics errors, pathing issues or, my personal favorite, falling through the ground. I can't tell you all the number of times that I've been fighting someone and tried to set up a stun (or some other form of crowd control) and big cool down combo...only to have the CC ability not go off the very moment I needed it to.

Its fitting that I mention crowd control because nothing says LOL like keeping an enemy in a stunlock or fear or disarm or snare or root while they die. That's also not very fun if you're on the receiving end. CC should be important. You should have to pick and choose the right moment to use it, and it should help to turn the tide of battle if used correctly. But it shouldn't be an instant IWIN button and it definitely shouldn't be a crutch. If you implement CC in a game, you need to implement ways to break out of it or limit it.

If a game feels good, and the abilities work well, chances are that you're a happy camper. You're killing stuff, collecting loot and observing the scenery. Life is great! Now what happens after you win a fight? Having smooth gameplay alone doesn't make for a good game. What do I get for playing your game the way you want me to, developers?! There needs to be a reward structure that recognizes players' victories whether its gear, ranks, titles, or a pink unicorn with booster rockets that let you fly over the battlefield blasting 80's power metal. I don't have to get a huge advantage over my foes with my +10 jockstrap of resist disease. I don't need to be the all powerful harbinger of death, spreading death and decay across the battlefield (okay, maybe a little). I just need some sort of recognition from the game that yes, you've won X number of times, so here's a little helping of awesomesauce! Get back to the fight!

Rewards shouldn't be tossed around like candy, though. I need to feel like I've earned the reward. When I click on that title, or put on that helmet, or get on that horse, I should have the knowledge that I did something to get these things -- that I was better than my adversaries. Call it what you will, but a game needs to caress my ego when I succeed at beating another player - just as it does when I kill a wolf, or two, or two thousand... Without some sort of reward, players have nothing to show for their time and effort. Rewards create something for players to strive for. They create a reason for them to become better players and better teammates. That, my nerdy friends, is a beautiful thing.

Even if you suck at a game, rewards still matter. Sure, you'll get ROFLstomped while you set up keybinds, memorize icons and notice animations. But as you play, you learn. As you learn, you get better. You'll start gearing up and you'll refine your build. Eventually you will reach a glorious point when everything just "clicks". Suddenly, you start noticing other people making mistakes. You pick up on people playing really well and strategize around them. You play the objectives without any thought, making calculations on success rates and deciding where you are most needed. When that magical moment happens, you want the game and every player around you to notice (whether you admit it or not) that you are victorious. Rewards do just that.



How important is gameplay to you in an MMO? What types of PvP rewards tickle your fancy? Comment below!




What's on the docket for next week? More on PvP rewards and the gear curve debate.



The views expressed in this blog are those of Reichmar12 and do not represent the views of TESOF, Zenimax Online Studios or any of its subsidiaries.
The following 6 users Like Reichmar12's post:
awil214, Hentmereb, Ink, Nautalus Nimbus, Tecca, Triskele


Comments on Reichmar's Rant: For the Love of PvP: Pt. 1.
Post #16840
Member

9
Faction & Race:
Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer)
Fluid gameplay is probably the most important aspect of PvP from my perspective. When SWTOR was first starting out, I had the issue of "CC didn't go off at the right time" A LOT. It got better as the game "progressed" (I add the "" because, well, it's SWTOR), but it was still incredibly frustrating. Especially because it made me seem like far less of a player than I am, when the issue was the game not being able to handle the amount of action going on on-screen.

I really like when you said: "But when it really comes down to it, I really love being able to take all of that and using it to decapitate another player." It's like... all kinds of hard work + complicated formulas + planning + a little trash talk = dead enemies + fun.

As far as rewards go, I completely agree - you have to have a challenging, yet accessible and worthwhile rewards system to keep people coming back. To me, this is where GW2 comes up short (I haven't played in a few months, so maybe it has changed). I don't like spending all day in PvP, getting better and better, and then having nothing to show for it but the ability to turn my character into a glorified dress-up doll. On the other side of that (and thinking back to SWTOR), you shouldn't be able to get the top of the line PvP gear/rewards without a significant amount of commitment - whether that's doing PvP dailies 5 out of 7 days a week for a few months or getting a set number of kills, I can't say for sure. PvP progression gear/rewards aren't something you'd typically think of, but they seem to work pretty well especially if there is something small available right from the start to make people want more.

A third aspect you didn't mention (and maybe you plan to in the future) is PvP community/rivalries. One thing I love about being a part of new MMOs is seeing the same people around higher level areas/in PvP and knowing who is good, or bad, who is a troll, who is a team player, etc. And also being able to identify enemies who I absolutely hate (or enemies I know I can cast circles around and /laugh at the same time). I had a great time with this in SWTOR until I quit... GW2, not so much. This is one thing that concerns me with the MegaServer, but hopefully the campaign idea will help with this.

Geeze... sorry for the mad long comment... great article though! I'm looking forward to the reading more!
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The following 1 user likes Nautalus Nimbus's post:
Reichmar12
Post #16845
Member

536
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
Thanks for the comments.

I played SWTOR myself for a while (name was Vereor there). I PvPed like a fiend and was first Sith to rank 60 on my server (might have been overall, never did find out). While I could tolerate some of the bugs and ability lag since it was a new game, I really got turned off by the lack of foresight into the PvP system in general. Rank grinding without higher tier play, daily and weekly quests that were easily completable with kill trading...it was a bit of a mess.

You pretty much hit on the gear curve debate in the second paragraph. More on that next week!

Community....hmm...sounds like a possible topic to me.
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Post #16893
Banned

867
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Argonian)

I disagree on the rewards.
while its true that they are nice. they also water down the expirience. Enemies should fear you for your skill and not for arbitrary titles you may have earned.

Just look at DotA 2. it is one of the best PvP games out ther. and it doesnt even show your stats to anyone else.
To the point that it doesnt even show you your own rank.

Fight for the sake of fight and plunder, not for arbitrary rewards.

Then again much of the things you say only apply for arena style games. with the open world faction PvP you left out things like faction identity. and while that might not be an issue in other PvP games, it certainly will be in ESO.

I dont know if youve played DaoC or Planetside, but the factions had some huge following there, to the point that in planetside on their forums a regular discussion could always turn into a giant faction rant. slurs like elmos, smurfs and barneys are thrown around.
And people are beeing secludet for playing another faction (we did that, a buddy of us wanted to play the barneys, so we decidet to go hunt him till he became an proper TR)

And then think about that this is TES. i dont think ANY other single player game has conjured up so much racial identity, and hate between players of the same, and to say it again, single player game.
Now put that on an MMO scale.

Itll be great.
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Post #16946
Member

14
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant (Redguard)
(December 10th 2012 02:45 AM)Sordak Wrote:  I disagree on the rewards.
while its true that they are nice. they also water down the expirience. Enemies should fear you for your skill and not for arbitrary titles you may have earned.

Just look at DotA 2. it is one of the best PvP games out ther. and it doesnt even show your stats to anyone else.
To the point that it doesnt even show you your own rank.

Fight for the sake of fight and plunder, not for arbitrary rewards.

Then again much of the things you say only apply for arena style games. with the open world faction PvP you left out things like faction identity. and while that might not be an issue in other PvP games, it certainly will be in ESO.

I dont know if youve played DaoC or Planetside, but the factions had some huge following there, to the point that in planetside on their forums a regular discussion could always turn into a giant faction rant. slurs like elmos, smurfs and barneys are thrown around.
And people are beeing secludet for playing another faction (we did that, a buddy of us wanted to play the barneys, so we decidet to go hunt him till he became an proper TR)

And then think about that this is TES. i dont think ANY other single player game has conjured up so much racial identity, and hate between players of the same, and to say it again, single player game.
Now put that on an MMO scale.

Itll be great.

Your logic is a little flawed. You say you should be feared becouse of your skill, not title. Case is, the title is just a mirror of your skill. If you have a big title (rare gear etc), your enemies are afraid of the skill required to get that title, not the title itself. I admit, it has advantages when your enemies do not know your skills before a battle, but this wasnt your point. Im sorry if it feels like just poking, its probably becouse i felt your comment poking too.
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Post #16953
Member

536
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
(December 10th 2012 02:45 AM)Sordak Wrote:  Then again much of the things you say only apply for arena style games. with the open world faction PvP you left out things like faction identity. and while that might not be an issue in other PvP games, it certainly will be in ESO.

And then think about that this is TES. i dont think ANY other single player game has conjured up so much racial identity, and hate between players of the same, and to say it again, single player game.
Now put that on an MMO scale.

Itll be great.

Community and how TES is going to make rewards good and pointless at the same time is the topic for the next release (after today's)....slated for next week.
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Post #16981
Member

115
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
I hoping there will be Arena, where you can challenge groups from your own faction, and battle for the best in "world/server", although WoW arena had its own flaws i had great time playing 3v3 and trying to carve my way up in ranking through my enemy's corpses. I don't want to see players getting un-killabel if they haw gear only and no skill, and there should be more then one viable way to build pvp character, i hated to see that every one had same build and spec for pvp, especially when there is no limit on weapons and armor, like hawing all mages wearing plate or all healers going medium armor and stealth.
I also would like to see, at least once a month, in game events pvp and pve, where you can earn a fun title or face great challenge that you don't find in normal day of gaming. This events should be provided by devs, and haw at least 7 days warning so we could preper or make bather schedule.
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Post #16995
Banned

22
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant (Breton)
(December 10th 2012 08:10 AM)Ewan Wrote:  I hoping there will be Arena, where you can challenge groups from your own faction, and battle for the best in "world/server", although WoW arena had its own flaws i had great time playing 3v3 and trying to carve my way up in ranking through my enemy's corpses. I don't want to see players getting un-killabel if they haw gear only and no skill, and there should be more then one viable way to build pvp character, i hated to see that every one had same build and spec for pvp, especially when there is no limit on weapons and armor, like hawing all mages wearing plate or all healers going medium armor and stealth.
I also would like to see, at least once a month, in game events pvp and pve, where you can earn a fun title or face great challenge that you don't find in normal day of gaming. This events should be provided by devs, and haw at least 7 days warning so we could preper or make bather schedule.

I would love it if the arena had both pvp and pve aspects. If a newbie could start by killing some wolves or something then work their way up the ranks till he/she starts playing pvp, it would be awesome imo. You could always make sure that pvp players in the arena were playing the same rank by introducing pve in-between ranks. idk
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Post #17012
Member

115
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
(December 10th 2012 08:40 AM)macmicool Wrote:  
(December 10th 2012 08:10 AM)Ewan Wrote:  I hoping there will be Arena, where you can challenge groups from your own faction, and battle for the best in "world/server", although WoW arena had its own flaws i had great time playing 3v3 and trying to carve my way up in ranking through my enemy's corpses. I don't want to see players getting un-killabel if they haw gear only and no skill, and there should be more then one viable way to build pvp character, i hated to see that every one had same build and spec for pvp, especially when there is no limit on weapons and armor, like hawing all mages wearing plate or all healers going medium armor and stealth.
I also would like to see, at least once a month, in game events pvp and pve, where you can earn a fun title or face great challenge that you don't find in normal day of gaming. This events should be provided by devs, and haw at least 7 days warning so we could preper or make bather schedule.

I would love it if the arena had both pvp and pve aspects. If a newbie could start by killing some wolves or something then work their way up the ranks till he/she starts playing pvp, it would be awesome imo. You could always make sure that pvp players in the arena were playing the same rank by introducing pve in-between ranks. idk

They did it in Oblivion, you had Arena chain quest line, were you start by killing animals (wolf's bears etc.), every enemy wars harder in difficulty, and eventually you would challenge other "champions", i loved that chain quest. Oh and they could bet on matches, I wonder , if its legal to make it in game, Arena betting system XD, they could make it like rank matches only and limited bet amount so there wouldn't be exploiting.
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Post #17021
Banned

22
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant (Breton)
(December 10th 2012 10:01 AM)Ewan Wrote:  
(December 10th 2012 08:40 AM)macmicool Wrote:  
(December 10th 2012 08:10 AM)Ewan Wrote:  I hoping there will be Arena, where you can challenge groups from your own faction, and battle for the best in "world/server", although WoW arena had its own flaws i had great time playing 3v3 and trying to carve my way up in ranking through my enemy's corpses. I don't want to see players getting un-killabel if they haw gear only and no skill, and there should be more then one viable way to build pvp character, i hated to see that every one had same build and spec for pvp, especially when there is no limit on weapons and armor, like hawing all mages wearing plate or all healers going medium armor and stealth.
I also would like to see, at least once a month, in game events pvp and pve, where you can earn a fun title or face great challenge that you don't find in normal day of gaming. This events should be provided by devs, and haw at least 7 days warning so we could preper or make bather schedule.

I would love it if the arena had both pvp and pve aspects. If a newbie could start by killing some wolves or something then work their way up the ranks till he/she starts playing pvp, it would be awesome imo. You could always make sure that pvp players in the arena were playing the same rank by introducing pve in-between ranks. idk

They did it in Oblivion, you had Arena chain quest line, were you start by killing animals (wolf's bears etc.), every enemy wars harder in difficulty, and eventually you would challenge other "champions", i loved that chain quest. Oh and they could bet on matches, I wonder , if its legal to make it in game, Arena betting system XD, they could make it like rank matches only and limited bet amount so there wouldn't be exploiting.

In-game betting, would be awesome!

If there was a dynamic chain quest that allowed "champions" (players) to fight challengers or be key'd up for battles against certain elements (ai) as people bet on them, it would be so awesome that I couldn't imagine them actually doing it.
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