Server Problems for PvP

Wildstar has opened its doors to the gaming masses and so far people seem to generally be quite positive about there experience. It seemed like a rocky launch, like most are that cleared up quickly with the usual problems that tend to pop up during a large launch. It’s been great for many, that is, if your not on a PvP server.

From what I’ve heard the people at the beginning of headstart were being greated with queue times several hours long and even in some extreme cases in excess of a day wait to get in. Couple this with the issues people were having  in queue and the usual reconnects and being on a PvP server didn’t seem to be a good time.

As of now there have been numerous new pvp server opening up. Three Na based ones all now showing mostly full and 5 Eu ones of varying official languages. That to me seems like a rather large issue in planning right there, and while it seems the standard that servers get quite busy on a release this is just utter incompetence.

It seems the developers of Carbine fell prey to the popular opinions around the mmo community that PvP isn’t popular. Given the only definable difference between the two server types  is either having open world flagging or not, many would wonder why people would want to go there at all. It’s just a playground for the anti-social and psychopathic after all and they can’t be that large of a population group.. But yes, yes they are.
To say that PvP servers, the land open world and brutal PvP full of gankers and creating a world of apprehension isn’t popular is an opinion, not a fact. It keeps getting propagated, and rather vehemently by many time and time again and it seems even the development community has begun taking on this chant as an irrefutable fact of the industry… But it’s not. It’s far from the truth and the industry is a lot less now because of it.

Each and every release I see a selection of full and very active pvp servers, equal too or even rivalling that of pvp at times. It is an extremely popular choice. This of course lessens as time goes on, far more rapidly than Pve servers but that is because development often ignores this playerbase in favour or more raids, pvp amd rep grinds. Oh sorry, we get the odd new battleground… Be still my beating black heart.

They are games that also aren’t designed around pvp in the slightest and as such it’s am experience that feels weird, like your somehow just squatting somewhere you don’t really belong. Just waiting for the authorities to kick you out. It’s the domain of the outcast and it takes a toll on the community, gameplay and longevity.

But we keep going between each and every new game that has PvP, we need that fix after all but they never fulfill for long. So we continue wandering and waiting for that mmo to come. There are a lot of us here, the original nomads in a way. Wandering the mmo graveyard since games like Daoc and Shadowbane were big, and even as far back as ultima. It’s an untapped market just waiting and so desperate that they’ll put down 60 bucks on any game putting pvp as a feature.

The interest is there.. It’s just waiting, waiting for investors and developers to take it seriously.

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23 thoughts on “Server Problems for PvP

  1. Hmm …
    1 – there are pure PvP games out there already. If Wizardry Online wasn’t ending I would have suggested you try it out since that was free for all -all the time-.
    2 – other than battlegrounds and maps, what else exactly do you want in PvP?
    3 – development for PvE usually benefits PvP players but not vice versa. Unless you’d prefer on the PvP servers to -not- get raids or dungeons, the related gear, or any of those otherwise PvE centric material?
    4 – would you still be happy paying $60 if all you experience all day everyday is getting ganked?

    • 1- wizardry doesn’t really compare to a big aaa production and it’s mechanics are rather dated.

      2- open world objectives would be a good start. Things to control, fight over and that gain resources from holding. Open world bosses are a big hit.

      Also a basic guild warring system such as tera’s with a good leader board would go a long way.

      3 – actually pre development actively hurts open pvp by introducing larger power differences and requiring more grind. Mostly people that pvp do it because they must, in order to keep up.

      4 – that’s a bit of a hyperbole. It doesn’t happen everyday for all play. There are ways to manage and avoid.

      • Good answers to all the above. I would like more information on number 3 though.

        Lets say someone does make a triple A MMO with Open PvP and has the guild warring system and a good leader board that you wanted. In this example they will totally neglect the PvE side of things because that isn’t what their game is about. So, no quests. No story. (A bit like UO). What else would you like to see in PvP land? I’d like to see your full list.

        Then I’d like to know how long you would play a game that has all those features – for arguments sake, immediately available at launch. Would that keep you around for a year? Three years? Indefinitely until a better Open PvP game comes out?

        If it’s indefinitely then you’re probably onto a winning formula and should pester dev houses immediately! 🙂

      • in my mind MMO’s don’t really need quests, it’s the player generated content supported by dynamic world aspects that make a more engaging experience. Lets move away from this guided linear approach to one wherein the players mostly control and run the world. Now there still can be PvE, some storied approaches to find and complete and even dungeons to delve into but making that the defining, and often only path to cap is extremely limiting.

        Of course there are other spaces for the non pvp inclined to engage in, just like the Eve example. It’s an extremely complex world that involves a wealth of activities outside of conflict that are fulfilling and important within the greater context.

      • @Joseph Skyrim

        your “theoretical” example actually exists, it’s over 10 yrs old now and still growing, the only game to pull that stunt
        its called EVE Online

        now as to how long you play this?
        I play for over 4 yrs now continously
        at the same time i tried and got bored of literally all the “AAA” games
        (ex-WOW, LOTRO, SWTOR, Rift, GW2, AOC, TSW and now TESO, i don’t think I will even bother with Wildstar)

        meaningful pvp is the only thing to keep you in a game for the long run
        when I have a working framework to fight war with my mates against you and your mates, THAT is interesting, but only if it includes real consequences, such as one of us losing assets, solar systems (territory)

        doing the same raid over and over and over again until you beat the final boss ( for gear that will be obsolete in a few months anyway) gets old sooner than you think, i was hc-raiding in wow back in the day when there WAS hc-raiding in wow, totally burnt out & zero interest in raiding ever again

        fighting people is interesting, challenging, ever-changing, no fights are the same, no “tactics” that work generally – you never know what they will try next time
        now compare that with pve – boss tactics never change, 1st kill is some challenge, the rest is just a chore, and you WILL go back and kill him another 20-30-40 times until the next raid comes out

        the main difference here is that in pvp you invest in people, whether they are your friends or your enemies, you play with humans and not computer generated opponents, hence there is a continuos story developing – your own story
        what i mean is that the “>>CONTENT<<" is the people you play with/against, not some tired "story "written by a particularly thick 6 yrs old ( I mean literally every pve game here, you name it)
        (..ok LOTRO has great story, but that's not down to Turbine..)
        in a themepark your story is what the devs put in for you, and it's also the same story as everybody else's in the game, you level through the exact same quests, run the exact same dungeons/raids etc

        just my 5 cents:)

      • “Of course there are other spaces for the non pvp inclined to engage in, just like the Eve example. It’s an extremely complex world that involves a wealth of activities outside of conflict that are fulfilling and important within the greater context.”

        @j3w3l

        however even if you are mining, mission-running or building ships/modules you can never, ever remove yourself from the FFA pvp aspect of the game, and in my mind that is a key element

        btw, I’m not trying to get you to play EVE, just adding a point to your criteria that makes a pvp game successful 🙂

      • lol all good and I agree that the ffa aspect is an important element… it’s a hard sell but needed.

        As for eve.. i’m getting very tempted lately… very tempted.

    • Yeh I played that for a bit after launch, and am jumping back in again soon. The questing kind of burned me out a little.

      It is pretty good, many great features but a few flaws in design and balance. Should be fun, I hope but after gw2 I don’t know how long an interest in AvA singing will last

      • I got tired of questing too but most of all missed my guild so i stopped lvl at 7. Tho I might log in to try pvp… but have to level some more first. I do like the combat style and I love my little assassin wood elf ❤

      • you proabably won’t have a good time jumping into PvP at level 7 haha, the upleveling is rather terrible and even at cap the VR ranks and gear make a huge difference… It’s a rather irritating part.

        The combat is pretty cool though, with some polish and decent updates it has the potential to be great.

  2. The PvP servers are an afterthought at best. “Oh look, open world ganking where there is no reason to fight and certainly no reason to fight fairly. Exactly what any real PvP fan loves!” – Said no one ever.

    • Yet surprisingly a lot of people jump in hopeful that it is something more… That’s gotta say something doesn’t it.

      Maybe it just says we’re more gullible

      • I suppose? I think some of it is wanting to definitely play with people who enjoy PvP for community/local queue reasons. The rest is “you aren’t a real gamer unless you prove yourself on a PvP server” mentality that plagues PvP’s equivalent to Elitist Jerks of PvE.

  3. What’s WoW’s percentage of open PvP servers compared to PvE? I know that back in the day when Everquest was the biggest MMO around PvP servers made up less than 10% of the total and SOE had trouble keeping those filled. Post-WoW both EQ and EQ2 have struggled to maintain a viable population on even a single open-world PvP server.

    I just don’t buy the argument that there’s a big, untapped market for open-world PvP in what is fundamentally a PvE genre. DAOC was half the size of EQ at its peak and EQ continued to grow throughout DAOC’s heyday. WoW put a stop to that, not open-wolrd PvPvE in DAOC. Shadowbane never made any impact outside of the relatively small, specific PvP community that was following it from the day it was announced.

    MMO companies often make poor design and marketing choices but I seriously doubt that every one of them has been continually and seriously underestimating the PvPvE market for the entire lifetime of the genre. I do think that things are changing a little and that a higher proportion of PvE players are willing to dip a toe into PvP under highly controlled circumstances, but PvE players are fundamentally wusses. There’s really very little for them to gain from playing in a PvP environment when all they want to do is pit themselves against AI that they know they can beat, play barbies and dress-up and hang out with their pals and gossip. It’d be about as attractive a proposition as going to a nice, cosy village fete to play tombola and having it invaded by a gang of skinheads looking for aggro.

    • Yeh, they did make up a small percentage and I was never involved with that but from what I’ve seen now it is a growing population. I think it’s because PvP games and multiplayer content outside of mmo’s has become a lot more popular. The lobby shooters and entire Moba genre. It’s a playerbase that’s grown exponentially and I think this is spilling over more and more. I don’t know really but I do see these full servers time and time again, what’s to say they can’t get a bigger mmo more focused towards them.

    • I don’t buy the argument that PvP server populations in PvE MMOs are an indication of the popularity of proper OWP in general. The fact is that EVE is the only game to really even approach the kind of systems that (I believe) most advocates of PvP games want. A lot of people who love PvP don’t play EVE because of the spaceship aspect and how much more removed from the action you are – in this case, it’s not the PvP part they don’t like, it’s just the combat system itself. Similar systems in a more personal, visceral, avatar-based combat setting would, I dare to say, attract a lot more people than you’d think.

      All that, coupled with the fact that PvP-minded people are spread between different MMOs due to the “maybe this one will do it better” factor, does tend to lend credence to the idea that it just isn’t popular enough to warrant a determined, focused effort to make a dedicated game from scratch. I actually would challenge your doubt and argue that yes, every one of them (the major ones, anyway) has seriously underestimated the potential market for a proper OWP MMO. One thing MMO developers are renowned for is conservatism, particularly in AAA titles. Making such a game would be a huge risk, so of course none of them will be the first. But from what I have seen so far, Star Citizen could very well be the title that encourages other developers to take the steps towards better, highly-integrated PvPvE worlds.

      Hell, ArcheAge and Black Desert are also edging towards that ideal too. It’s a pity that the Asian developers are more innovative and imaginative than Western ones. On the other hand, you might be right, and most MMO players are adamantly opposed to OWP. It could be that baby steps, easing into a more integrated world with each successive generation of MMOs, might be the only way to achieve the kinds of games that people like myself, j3w3l and others are longing for. I hope not, though, because that’d take a damn long time.

      • Yeh, asian developers do tend to take more risks with the products but then I think that’s more of a necessity in their extremely crowded mmo space. I’d forgotten about Star Citizen too but just wow.. yeh, there’s no market for pvp based mmo’s except for the 44million dollars worth.. and this is another space one.

  4. The argument will continue through the ages. “Carebears” don’t want to deal with PvP. Gankers want more Carebears to join so they can gank them. You will always have bad apples in both bunches. I agree that PvP is a relatively untapped market, and the reason being is that a system of open world sandbox with ffa pvp hasn’t really been done. Yeah sure, a couple of niche games that the majority of people wrote off have tried, but a true big budget ffa game (outside of Eve) hasn’t happened. Eve doesn’t interest me, but what it’s systems have allowed to happen is what I’d like with a different skin. Watch this video and tell me the points are spot-on: http://youtu.be/nvK8fua6O64

    The argument is always squashed when you consider this: Players will always be more challenging than AI. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it a thousand times more. PvE players will argue against this is one way or another, but it’s the bottom line. There’s no argument to counter it. Human ingenuity will always trump pre-programmed scripts. When your enemy truly adapts to what you’re doing, the content generation is endless.

    • Agreed, I think EVE is not even close to perfect as is, but it is a damn good template for future MMO desgins to mesh seamless OWP and PvE systems together in an avatar-based setting. When you spend the majority of your time on those systems, and can set them up so that the players generate 80%+ of the content, then you don’t miss out by only including *some* scripted PvE content like dungeons or quests. Plus, if your core systems are solid, your PvE content can be much vaster in scope, such as worldwide invasions, or massive natural disasters, or civil wars. Things that players can engage in or not, in whatever fashion they wish, but nevertheless feel the impact of those events.

      One of the most exciting things I am looking forward to with EQNext is the idea of having each server change independently through those massive events, so that if you create characters on different servers, you’ll adventure in fundamentally different worlds. I like the idea of a world changing as I’m playing, not because of fancy phasing mechanics or developer-mandated patches (WoW’s Cataclysm revamp) but due to player choices and actions.

    • Yeh, seen that video before and it is true. Wow ruined it all.
      I’m not to much into eve’s gameplay either but yeh, what can happen with those mechanics is amazing. Just needs a modern interpretation.

      I understand why people don’t like pvp. A lot really just don’t like predictability, they feel comfort from there being a level of consistency. I think there is a way to appease both parties and with the general malaise surrounding themepark at its a good time to have one

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