Two years ago, if you were on the planning team for WAR, imagine these two (pardon the phrase) scenarios: Which would you choose as being a bigger issue for game design?
- WAR is going to be an RvR-focused game. Our concern is that gamers don’t naturally gravitate toward RvR, and we want to give them incentives to give it a try, to get over the PvP fears that open-griefing PvP MMO’s have instilled in our audience. What kind of incentives can we offer for RvR?
- WAR is going to be so successful in RvR that we’ll have to offer incentives to get people into PvE.
Where would you have concentrated your development time? As much as we can, in hindsight, point out places where Mythic could have made changes in PvE, I don’t think I would have imagined bullet point #2 as being a huge concern for the success of my game.
Yeah, WAR PvE has some challenges, but what would you rather being facing if you were Mythic? Would you rather have Yet Another PvE Game, while you beg people to try RvR, or would you rather have tons of people enjoying RvR, enjoying what makes your game different than other MMO’s, and trying to figure out how to fix the PvE perception?
Compared to most other MMO’s, WAR’s PvE isn’t that bad, isn’t that far off the bar set by other games. It suffers when you compare it to the rate of advancement in Scenarios, and it suffers because we’re quite divided into three pairings, and then quite divided over large zones in each pairing, not finding a critical mass of PvE companions. I think the first problem, incentive for PvE, can be addressed. I’m not sure there’s much that Mythic can do to address the way they split their factions into three separate pairings, isolating people from each other. That’s a topic for another post, though.
I think it’s pretty safe to say, though, that if Mythic had to be facing a problem at this point, a month into release, you’d rather have the problem of people enjoying RvR so much that PvE needs a boost. It’s a hell of a lot better than everyone crowding in PvE because RvR is perceived as not fun, or not rewarding.