PvP: The Art Of Punching Your Friends In The Face For Fun And Profit
Remember, any and all concepts in this document may or may not make it to the final game. Some that do won’t be there for an issue or three. This is a mid-day update targeting a smaller group of players, and a normal update is still planned for tonight.
PVP. Let's discuss.
1: You will never be forced to PvP
2: You can, in fact, talk about Fight Club.
3: Seriously. You will never, ever be forced to PvP.
In fact, if you feel like ignoring PvP, you can close this update right now, a normal one will be sent out at the regular time. But if you want to have a little thrill, read on, we think you’ll find something you like. Especially towards the end.
I enjoy a nice spot of PvP now and again. Back on Virtue, we had Fight Night at the Golden Giza once a week. I still maintain the best one ever was when an entire battle royale, team versus team event accidentally zoned into someone’s mayhem mission. Everything exploded. It was glorious.
PvP requires a significantly different set of fundamental assumptions than PvE. It can work if it is built along recognizable principles of how powers interact, and in a similar way to the PvE system, but requires a fairly significant set of additional design. This may mean gear works differently, powers work differently, or simply that the combat system itself changes gears. After all, PvE generally involves beating up many small opponents, rather than one as powerful as you are. And the few equal to your power level just aren't as smart. It’s going to be a real design challenge, and one that we’re going to spend some time getting right.
PVP is an expected feature in this game. It can be fun, it’s a new way to add challenge, and in games without PvP, people who like to be aggressive take it out in other ways. Generally less friendly ones.
Of course, we remember the furor on the forums about PvP. We don’t intend to let the tail wag the dog. We know that PvP can be fun, but it’s secondary to the main game. The thing is, we don’t mind trying to increase the amount of fun people get from PvP. It’s a challenge. And we love challenges.
We’ve worked out eight types of PvP possible in this game, and we’d like to see what you think about them. We’re not sure if we’re going to include them all, and we’re not sure how fast we’re going to fit them in, but one or two are sure to make the cut.
1: We’ve already talked about a pure PvP layer of the game - you would be able to drop into a specific instance of any zone map and go PVP, away from all the other PvE players.
2: Zones: Persistent zones of PvP_OK, crafted for specific PvP play, as opposed to PvP_OK versions of PvE zones. Negative: Allows for gank teams. Positive: Allows for gank teams. PVP zones should have high risk, high reward elements that are fun. A free-for-all zone where collecting eight orbs gets you a temporary power is more fun than a PVP escort mission that ends up becoming a glorified game of Capture the Flag; especially when the “flag” keeps getting stuck on the scenery. Turning a zone purely heroic or villainous was actually pretty fun - the reward was MORE fighting, but awesome fighting. Of course, there’s always the option of messing with other players indirectly, by doing missions that change how much opposition the other side faces.
3: "Battlegrounds". Warhammer did them fairly well. Queue up, get put on a team on a small map designed for a fun assault from multiple directions, possibly with custom rulesets (The floor is lava!) and fight for ten or fifteen minutes. They had one battleground that was like the seven layer cake, only freestanding, and knocking people off the top and making them run back up was huge amounts of fun.
4: Our new concept, the Public Quest PVP. If you like this, we’ll try to get a full update out about them. Let’s just say that Batman can stop Catwoman from robbing that museum now. Or, we all know what happens when two superheroes or superteams meet, they fight, then they team up. We’ve got an idea on how to do that now. We like to call it ‘Social PVP’. It’s great to make new friends. Or to run into old ones. And, you know, punch them in the face.
5: Dueling. Yep. Pick a guy, then fight him. Doesn’t get any more classic than that.
6: Monster Play. Now, I know how LOTRO does it. And we've got two variant ideas. One is closer to theirs, but… what if you could take over a Giant Monster during an event? Now that’d be fun.
7: Arena combat. Which is sort of a subsection of battlegrounds. Nice area, scenic blood gutters, high stakes betting, roar of the crowd, Truckasaurus. One versus one, team versus team. Maybe in a replica of your very own superbase full of traps and weapons. Maybe in a section of city where you can blow everything up, even throw a guy right through the walls. Both this and Dueling can come in the traditional ‘you play your character’ form and the less traditional ‘you play some other character designed for PvP’ form.
8: Minigames. What happens if you combine a Base Builder, Mission Architect, and Mastermind controls? Well, you get to create a base, and staff it with goons and traps. And there’s your villain at one end, ready to activate his Moon Laser in exactly ten minutes. Can the hero get to you in time? Or, contrariwise, that hero’s visiting the Supermax Prison at the same time your villain tries to escape. Can your villain get out? This one’s going to take a while to get out there, but it’d be a lot of fun for a Dungeon Keeper or Evil Genius. No way we’ll have it at launch, though.
So, there you go, that’s how we see PVP. It’s not going to be the focus of our game, but it’s an element we certainly want to include. You guys get to help us choose how. Go on, there’s a box down below, let’s see how you want to make things happen!
Oh, by the way.
4: PvP design should never affect PvE play.