World PVP and MMORPGs

All my more recent posts seem to be rants.  I’m really sorry, but here’s another one, this time based around new MMORPGs and World PVP.  I think the most fun I’ve had in MMOs is with world PVP and you just don’t get it in MMOs any more.  A lot of people find that battleground style-PVP  is just so boring and repetitive when doing it over and over again to attain a certain rank.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft in early vanilla retail had some amazing world PVP because the players made it.  On my server, there were city raids every weekend, fights between Tarren Mil and Southshore and generally protecting people leveling up on your own side.  Some of the best and earliest battles I fought were actually at Crossroads.  A lot of the guilds on my server would group up just to attack some of the smaller alliance towns and after being alerted in “World Defense” channel, the opposite faction would soon have a group together to defend it.  People weren’t that bothered by gear, most of the big raid instances hadn’t been released… the game was fun, but you kinda had to make your own fun, and there wasn’t anything more fun than world PVP.

Blizzard could have expanded on this by letting you fight over contested territory and put capture points through the world.  They realised this a bit late pre-tbc expanison with the EPL and Silithus objectives being put into place… and by that stage, I guess people became gear-hungry and no longer had time for World PvP so no one really bothered that much with them.  They added Battlegrounds.  World PVP didn’t die right away because you needed to travel to them which meant lots of fun fights in Arathi Highlands between the two towns and Northern Barrens/Ashenvale as well as Hillsbrad where the AV instance portal was.

But then something awful happened,  They placed battleground masters in the major cities which allowed you to queue from here.  People got lazy and started to just loiter around in cities and so started the demise of World PVP on retail.  TBC had some fun features which kinda encouraged some world pvp like Halaa and the Hellfire Peninsula objectives.  Then the rewards became crap and the objectives became pointless, which again encouraged people to loiter in cities and queue for battlegrounds and arenas.

Age of Conan

Age of Conan was something special, at the start.  It had such amazing potential….to promote world PVP and show every other MMORPG what world PVP was meant to be about.  You could build your own guild city, siege weapons, city defence team…. you could attack anyone and everyone.  There were no factions.  Everyone was a target.  The combat was amazing… I could go on about how great this game could have been, but it would only make me sad.  Age of Conan made the stupid mistake of introducing battlegrounds.  This meant that all those things they built around cities and sieges… were a complete waste of time.

Why?  Why would people bother of going to the hassle of destroying a rival guild’s city when they can just PVP in a battleground?   The other thing that destroyed world PVP in AoC, for me at least, was the fact that they made everything “instanced”.  Like, the world itself was HUGE, there are no flightpaths (which I actually like), but every single “zone” as it were, is inside an instance – i.e. you have to zone in and out of said zone.   This made the overall world feel really really small.

WARhammer Online

WAR (warhammer) was another game I loved at the beta stage.  They closed the game off apart from 31 – 40 so everyone was Tier 4 and there was no access to battlegrounds.  There was no huge gear gaps.  It was amazing, we had 600 people in single battles quite often and it was just so amazing to experience these massive fights over keeps. These are PVP based objects that take you through the world to get to their city.  The lagg on my server was pretty insane at times, but it still felt “epic” to be such a small part in something so huge.  It felt like war, like you were part of something big.  I love that.

At release, we had our guild up and we did lots of 6-10 man roaming.  We had some really fun fights.  Then of course, WAR went the same way as WOW and Age of Conan and introduced battlegrounds.  They were fun at the start, especially in the lower level tiers… with minimal skills, and no huge talent/faction gaps.  Once you reached Tier 4 however, things swiftly went downhill with noticeably huge imbalance of the factions.  This angered a lot of PVPers and we eventually left that game.

Rant almost over… honest..

If you’ve read this far into the rant, then you’re probably nodding your head in agreement (or are just really masochistic). The rest of the MMORPGs I played kinda went the same way.   Great at the start when everyone is levelling alongside each other and it’s something fun to do to break the grind or before the major content is released or til they screw everything up  by releasing battlegrounds.  I understand why battlegrounds exists.  It’s less stress on the server, less lagg.  Players can PVP on a 10-40 man scale as they wish inside an instance free from the lagg of a “zone”.  Same reason Age of Conan instanced all their zones… the servers (and people’s PCs) couldn’t cope with having that many players all concentrated in one area.

On new MMO’s though, world PVP just seems so dead now, there aren’t really any new MMO’s focusing on PVP on a mass scale.  So sad because MMOs used to be about their worlds and now they’re so instanced up that you don’t have that experience any more.   I haven’t played SWTOR yet but the people who I know are playing it have also said that there is no world PVP and it “just feels like a bunch of levels rather than an online world and everything to do with PVP is so instanced which discourages world PVP”.

What about here Clodagh?

World PVP isn’t dead on Feenix, there are still “hubs” where you can find people fighting, such as Silithus, Blackrock Spire and some of the lower level areas like Stranglethorn Vale…. but if encouraged, it could be so much more!  We need to drag those angry rank grinders out of the battleground and the cities and into the zones and have some lovely big-scale battles. PVEers, come out of your dungeons once in a while – instead of standing around Orgrimmar or Ironforge admiring your purples, get out there and get into a brawl!

We need people to care a bit more if their towns and cities are under attack and help out a bit when their lowbies are being ganked (this quite often, ensues some great battles).  Ok – there are no big rewards, you can’t loot people for epics and you can’t get High Warlord just for doing world PVP… but it is a hell of a lot of fun and isn’t that what gaming is all about?