It seems like a given when playing on a PvP server that there will be an abundance of trolls, aholes, and griefers. I don’t know whether the number would be more than any other server but because of the mechanics allowed there is a lot more freedom to ruin someone’s play. We’ve all heard stories about people being griefed constantly for hours on end and may even have been on the receiving end of it. That side of PvP is a very well-known aspect which although overemphasised is definitely a part of it all.
Now I tend to enjoy this aspect of open world PvP; it is exciting and adds a certain flavour to the experience that you just can’t find in any other game. It’s why I play mmo’s more than any other genre. But there is one unmistakable fact that will ensure PvP mmo’s will never see the amount of popularity the themeparks have, and that is because open world PvP sucks when your solo. so so bad.
Playing my little fluffy Popori again has been a bit of a shock to me. Now I’m not talking about the confusion you get jumping into an old character but in how when exploring the world on a PvP server at the moment I stand little chance if someone tries to attack me. I am quite far behind the levelling curve in terms of power and Tera has a huge issue with scaling between the tiers of gear… I get annihilated.
When levelling in the beginning this wasn’t a bad thing at all. It served as a reason to mobilise as a group and a guild. It provided opportunities for combat, new experiences with other players and broke up the usual monotony of mmo life. Without a guild or group to call on this time around it makes the open world nothing more than a lonely frustration. The thrill that comes from the unknown was replaced more by a feeling of trepidation. I was more cautious around other players, avoiding most contact or even them seeing me if I could. It was just not worth the trouble in taking in the amount of uncertainty random players give when you don’t have the ability to retaliate or the friends to support you.
With the genre constantly charging towards greater ease of access and the inclusion of the single player play style it is no surprise that the population has grown and received a lot more attention from new players but that is something I don’t believe the more hardcore PvP experiences will ever attain. They are a type of game that encourages and is enhanced by grouping, yes regular mmo’s are too but unlike them the PvP experience is actually harmed in its absence.
By design they are just not suited towards more casual play with their focus on group play and when they are, such as games like Planetside 2 a lot the mechanics have been diminished in favour of a greater appeal. There is nothing wrong with that and there is a place for these experiences, I enjoy them from time to time as well but they lack the depth that provides a more long-term interest.
I’m ok with being interested in a niche product but all too often I see that developers are not and either seek to make them into a more casual experience neglecting the core mechanics that make it great or they seek for a larger population than they ever could attain, incurring costs that are hard to recover. I really do hope we can get a decent PvP experience of this generation that people can look up to and reference in regards to how good a PvP mmo can be but instead all we have is well…not that good.