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YPHM #7 – World PvP

Hi, I’m Taix. I’m an MMO elitist, I take my videogames way too seriously, and in this edition of YPHM I’ll be discussing a topic beloved by all old-school MMOers, world PvP. I’ll be talking about the positives and negatives of this type of PvP, what I think of it personally, and what I hope BioWare does with world PvP so that the most fans possible are pleased with the result.

 

The randomness in world PvP is the factor that offers the greatest appeal. This is also its greatest detraction, but we‘ll get to that in a bit. While leveling or farming on an active world PvP server, it can really get your heart going when somebody pops out of nowhere to try and kill you. Having the presence of mind to fend off the gank and commence camping the slain ganker (or gankers even) is the type of accomplishment that people remember when they look back on their time spent playing their favorite now-long-dead MMO (I’m including vanilla WoW in this category). Small-scale open-world PvP is really very exciting. Large-scale open-world PvP is much less spontaneous (definitely in terms of location), often occurring near world objectives or in areas with towns close to each other (e.g., Southshore and Tarren Mill). It is my belief that this kind of PvP paved the way for the initial battlegrounds and organized PvP to surface in MMOs, as both have large groups of people fighting primarily for control of actual objectives rather than fighting for the sake of fighting. Taking over the opposing faction’s towns, fighting for control of world bosses, camping the entrances of raids to disrupt enemy guilds; the fun was endless.

 

However, world PvP can also be extremely frustrating while being ganked and camped by five or more people, which is completely unpredictable and happens much more often than the idealized large epic capital city raids. It is this type of situation which drives me toward organized PvP, where numbers are even and skill actually means something in every game (I’ve stated a few times before that the importance of skill increases with organization of teams along with ranked competition, but I digress). If fifteen undergeared but skilled and coordinated guildies, for example, face off in a warzone against fifteen better-geared idiots with no coordination, those with the skill and communication will win. Organized PvP is less epic, but it’s more consistent. I admit that I loved world PvP in vanilla WoW, whether it was large-scale, or just fending off one or two people. When battlegrounds came out, however, the potential to gain honor much faster than participating in open world PvP was too enticing to pass up, as was the ability to PvP on demand, and the opportunity to practice PvP with my character virtually endlessly in a controlled environment. Open world PvP still happened every now and again if you were on a PvP server, but because of the rewards from BGs, it was drastically reduced.

 

I sincerely hope that world PvP is popular in SWTOR, but I hope that the types of “good” world PvP, the types that leave lasting memories, are emphasized. Rewarding players (e.g., with PvP gear tokens) for fighting in large world PvP points of contention between towns, near world bosses, etc. could lead to some extremely fun PvP that happens more often and is less random than in previous MMOs. The trickiest part is trying to discourage people from to resorting to mindlessly ganking lowbies when they crave world PvP. Maybe rewarding people for getting the jump on your opponent 1v1, with those rewards seriously deteriorating when more people join in, would be a nifty way of creating more open-world duels. Players may even seek out popular farming spots just to look for random 1v1s against the opposite faction. These are simply a few ideas which I’ve had in the past, but we’ll have to wait and see what BioWare comes up with.

 

Disagree with me? Think you have another great idea for open world PvP? Tell me all about it on the forums here.

 

‘Til next time.

-Taix

 

 

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