Before either of you looks at the title, the author, and then back at your screen in disbelief, let me fool you of any confusion right now. Over the years I have written a much about the problems with open PvP, about how the social penalty for it doesn’t work and so on. I’ve usually summed up most of my issues with this pretty simply: I like PvP, but I also like ice cream, but I don’t want to suddenly get ice cream stuffed in the face while I’m eating something else. That doesn’t sound like a good time to me. And no, my position there has not changed.
However… I think it’s easy in this context to lose sight of the idea that there is something any Credit for opening up PvP as a mechanical decision, which I don’t think is necessarily productive. Yes, open PvP has some issues, but there must be reasons why people enjoy it and are committed to it. So let’s look at some reasons why open PvP is actually a type of rules and why it’s desirable as a goal in the first place.
1. It adds an additional risk factor
When you get behind the wheel of a car, there are certain risks that you accept as part of the experience. Low risks, most of the time, but still real risks. Things can go wrong! Similarly, when you enable open PvP in an MMO, you take risks beyond environmental hazards, enemies, and all of the game’s survival mechanics. You also have to deal with the possibility that someone decides to kill you to death. Which is amplified if you’re an idiot, for example, and you’re wearing harvesting gear and the other person Really do not like you.
2. It makes routine content more distinctive
I find that collecting tons of knots in an MMO is often a relaxing state, but it can also often get a bit boring. The line between a “relaxing, meditative state” and “a sleep-inducing slumber” can be a fine one. So it’s interesting that open PvP spices this up. There is never a completely safe experience, and that can be a positive. Sure it isn’t probably that these other players are coming for you, but you have to stay alert.
3. It adds an additional vector of player expression
Being a notorious killer of other players for no reason Is a method of player expression, just as trying to ruin role-playing events for no reason is one. It is not commendablebut it still is There. But there are other options. If you can be a notorious killer of gamers, eventually you can Also be a well-known person trying to save others. In other words, you have other vectors to make a name for yourself with your fellow players and gain experience.
4. There is a possibility of higher churn
The thing is that if you are used to games, where someone tip Kill yourself and take all your stuff, chance someone could Kill yourself and take all your stuff with you, that sounds way worse than reality. Because the reality of PvE games is usually that stuff is… not that irreplaceable! Otherwise the game would completely crash. That’s not usually the case in PvP games. Oh, sure, it might be rare, but you generally don’t wear the rare stuff unless you’re sure… and even then, the rare stuff can be reacquired. It can create an environment in which the person who is at the helm today could do so not in other words, be on top tomorrow.
5. Unique experiences can arise
let me tell you a story I did a world quest on my Horde Paladin in an FFA PvP area in World of Warcraft, and I happened upon a dwarven shaman in the same area. We both looked at each other for a moment, waved, and then went back to killing enemies instead of fighting each other. But a few moments later, I saw him being attacked by a night elf who was obviously ready to engage in punches. So I ran over and joined . . . and helped him fend off the night elf, both of us teaming up even though we couldn’t do more than understand each other’s intent. Night elf below, we faced each other, showed emotion a few times (he as a thank you and I as a congratulations) and got back to killing enemies.
That was a beautiful moment. It was fun. It couldn’t happen if we both didn’t have them Possibility fight each other and choose not to.
6. New gameplay can be built on it
Albion Online has an interesting dynamic in its zones depending on whether you enter an open PvP zone or not. You can avoid many of them, but if you do, gameplay options and resource acquisition will be limited. But that in and of itself creates a new kind of game mechanics. More importantly, this wouldn’t just be possible with just enemy gameplay. It adds an extra level of risk without just attaching a roaming murder machine.
A scripted one, I mean. There could still be a roving murder machine, people can suck, but we won’t get into that here.
7. It diversifies risk-reward metrics
If you never worry about losing your best gear, you never really need to carry anything other as your best gear. But just as importantly, you need to find a different approach to doing things when other players are out there as potential enemies. Is it worth carrying decent but not great gear that’s easier to replace? Does that make you an easier target? Even if it’s open PvP with no full loot, is it safe to go questing alone? Is this area crowded? Would it be better to do this particular quest at a different time of the day?
8. The players develop different social structures
Players simply behave differently towards other humans when other humans can pose a threat, rather than just an inconvenience or a potential ally. There’s an added benefit and uncertainty there that you can’t replicate in any other environment. Players develop habits of how to signal that they are not a threat in high-stress environments, and other players develop habits based on those habits, and… you get what we’re talking about, right? It will very Complex, very fast.
9. There is always new room for creativity
See, realistically, most people developing free-for-all PvP just try to look back to where it was Ultimate Online briefly allowed it before realizing it was a terrible idea for the game as it bled the players. But that’s the thing: There Is, an interesting design space indeed to explore with the potential for open-ended PvP, and the fact that it hasn’t been explored all that well and tends to just replicate older structures doesn’t mean the design space isn’t there. There is potential for something new!
10. Some players feel very powerful
We really shouldn’t leave it just implied. Some people get to feel Really good in open pvp. And not just the people who hunt low-level players for no reason. Sometimes people look like they’re just clumsy gatherers, then turn around and murder wannabe gankers because it turns out they were vigilantes posing as such bait. And I think we can all agree on that kinda just cool.