R versus R!

Darren at the Common Sense Gamer posted some thoughts about wanting meaningful PvP in his mmorpg, and he asked for feedback. In my usual style, I started to respond in the Comments on his blog, but then realized I was writing another novel and decided to pull the long post back here.

As you can tell by my previous couple of posts, I’m a big fan of the realm versus realm combat in Mythic Entertainment’s Dark Age of Camelot. I think that endgame PvP is an opportunity for broader cooperation than you’ll ever see in a loot-based PvE game like WoW or EQ. As stated by Darren, it certainly seems like Eve Online creates the need for broader cooperation in 0.0 space, but that’s beyond my Eve experience thus far.

From Darren’s post: “Apparently their RvR implementation was very fun to play as well as rewarding for players who participated (..former DAoC players, please chime in on this one…)”

You asked for it! Things Mythic did right with RvR:

  1. Three realms. If one realm was very powerful, as was the case on my sever for a long time, the other two realms combined were usually enough to offer a bit of balance and distraction.
  2. Allowed a separation of PvE and PvP by offering a segregated PvE experience. I believe Mythic has a better solution for WAR, but we’ll have to wait and see how it’s implemented. For it’s time, though, DAOC was somewhat revolutionary in offering an opportunity to choose between PvP and PvE.
  3. Offered rewards based on territory controlled in the RvR-enabled zones. Each realm had keeps and relics that were attackable at any time by other realms. If your realm held the most keeps on the server, you had access to a dungeon that offered nice drops and seals(loot that could be collected and turned in for nice equipment).
  4. Offered benefits based on relic control. Each realm had two relics. If your realm captured relics from other realms, you got bonuses to melee and spell damage (assuming you were also in possession of your own relics).
  5. Offered benefits for claiming a keep. Each DAOC guild gained guild points for RvR participation. With those points, your guild could claim a keep when it was captured. When your guild had a keep claimed, you enjoyed greater experience and loot when fighting in a radius around that keep.
  6. Offered skill bonuses based on individual RvR points earned. As your character gained ranks in RvR, additional abilities became available to you.

For those that have played DAOC, excuse me if I’m not precise on the details. It’s been a couple of years since I played regularly.

Here’s a quote from the Warhammer site about integrating PvE and PvP somewhat. Sounds good in concept, I like PvE efforts contributing to the war effort somehow, but we certainly need to see things in action before we know how well the design is implemented.

” For the first time, WAR‘s RvR system integrates both Player vs. Player (PvP) combat and Player vs. Environment (PvE) quests on the same map. Every aspect of the game, including PvE missions, is geared towards the greater war in some important way. However, players are not required to participate in PvP combat, and may aid in the RvR war effort and enjoy the game in its entirety via PvE content.”

I’m hopeful, but I’ve been around long enough to know that I shouldn’t believe anything a developer says until I try it myself. And not just because of Brad McQuaid, but because it’s damn difficult to design and balance these games.

More later if I have time, I actually have to work for a bit. The nerve of them 🙂

Shout out to Ryan and Gary at MOG Army…I can’t read or type the acronym PvP without “P versus P!” ringing through my head. Thanks for the kickass pocasts. I’d link to their site, but it seems like their web server got ganked. Maybe they’ll get a rez and it’ll work for you. Ain’t no suprise the best mmorpg podcast on the internets comes from a couple of Jersey boys 🙂 Find them on iTunes, give ’em a listen and give ’em a review.

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4 Responses

  1. Kewl…thanks Rick.

  2. sounds great. I never got a chance to play, I always avoided online games thinking i’d spend all my time online, and I was right! 🙂

    Sounds like a lot of the problems with WoW were done correctly by DAOC even before: especially having 3 factions as a way to balance them. Playing horde is such a pain in WoW when it comes to world pvp, since they are so outnumbered it defeats the purpose and discourages people from even fighting in the world.

    Hmmm I wanted to try Conan but now this makes me want to try WAR even more. argh

  3. Yeah, some of the WoW PvP problems were done correctly by DAOC, it’s true. WoW improved a ton of PvE stuff over DAOC, though. There’s always a back-and-forth with good games, I think.

    I think one of the reasons WoW went with the instanced battlegrounds was because of WoW developer experiences in DAOC. I may have been lucky to be on a DAOC server where there was a lot of RvR action, and it was usually fairly balanced. I’ve heard of other DAOC servers where one realm dominated and there wasn’t a lot of participation from other realms. People from the under-represented realms had trouble finding fair fights. I think the WoW Battleground idea was in part designed to always present a balanced fight.

    I appreciate that part of the WoW PvP world. It just doesn’t seem like we were fighting for anything permanent or significant in WoW.

    I’m not sure what to think about Conan. I like Funcom, but Conan hasn’t captured my attention. Ya know, it could be because my daughter likes to sit and play, or watch me play, and I wouldn’t be able to do that with Conan. Maybe that’s why it’s off my radar.

  4. Freedom can be a daunting thing. If you’re used to being told go grab this and bring it here, go kill so many of these and you’ll get this, then part of EVE may be enjoyable to you (these agent missions that is).

    But to me the beauty of EVE is the capacity to do all the other stuff: trade commerce, manufacturing, setting up a corp wide mining operation in low sec with CAP (combat air patrol) units protecting the mining and transports. It’s the political intrigues, the corporate espionage, the alliance PVP wars and everything else that make it exciting and keep me playing after 3 years!

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