To PvP or not PvP, that is the Question

The Talkback Challenge hosted by the NBI, is a feature that gets the community talking about the same subject. This was done in years past, and this year the topic at hand is: Do PvE and PvP mix?  There is another topic as well, but that one hasn’t made its rounds yet, so let’s cover one at a time, shall we?

I read Doone’s post on the topic over at XP Chronicles, and that was the first one I commented on. Here’s what I had to say:

I’ve only experienced open world pvp in one game, and that was Everquest II. I started playing the game in ’06, and had been playing a month or so when the pvp servers opened. I rolled a fresh character on Nagafen with my then-roommate and we had a lot of fun, as everyone was on an even playing field. There weren’t players that much higher than you, and the rules kept you within a reasonable level range for pvp conflict. There were raids that would form in the world and massive battles would play out over hours. It was an epic feeling. But as I leveled, the mid-game was terrible, as it got to the point that you couldn’t complete quests without being consistently ganked. The frustration of trying to do both at the same time eventually had me seeing through the eyes of a “care bear.” This isn’t to say I don’t think pvp has its place — Players will always be more of a challenge than AI — but I like instanced pvp in a battlegrounds fashion.

Being a League player I like objective based pvp, so battlegrounds are a good way to have your MMO and eat it too. I do think that it would be better to do something like League does though, and give a pre-constructed character to play with. Like your appearance/class would still remain, but you would be given a few class-specific abilities and your gear wouldn’t change their effectiveness. That would keep it “fair” and “separate” from the pve game. People who don’t normally pvp might jump on that too, because they wouldn’t have to worry about not being geared right, and being on an even playing field is a true measure of skill.

This is to say that I enjoy PvP, but that I can acknowledge that it is annoying when being followed around by griefers while trying to finish up quests. In most cases, I get my PvP elsewhere, outside of the MMO sphere. I play games like League of Legends, Awesomenauts and Hearthstone, used to be big on FPS conflicts, and still love a good Street Fighter variant. When I play massive games, I tend to roll on PvE servers just like the rest of the carebears, because there has yet to be a system that keeps things fair.

Fair is a relative term. People think that everything is unfair when they are losing. That isn’t to say that PvP in inherently unfair, rather that developers have always seemed to add it in as an afterthought, or do very little to address the balance issues. In games like LoL, you are able to choose amongst many different pre-set champions. The only real affect you have on their power is your Rune/Mastery setups, along with what items you build during the game. However, those items are available to everyone, and Runes/Masteries are earned, but don’t provide huge gains. This keeps the players on a level field, where skill makes up for lack of knowledge of builds. In MMOs, there are either limitations due to gear discrepancy, or mechanics that allow for griefing of other players.

The easiest way to avoid the conflict between so called carebears and pvpers (assholes) is to keep the PvP element separate from the rest of the game. WoW and others have done just that, where you queue up for a separate game mode to have it out in PvP style. Some people would argue that this dilutes the PvP aspect, because they are restricted to instanced PvP. But how is that really different than any other game that pits player versus player? All of the games I listed above are purely PvP, and its conducted in a way that people who join the game know what they’re getting into. I suppose it is blind siding to create a character in an MMO and be killed by people you thought were on your team. But in this day and age, unless you have been living under a rock and don’t read anything about a game before you try it, I’d say you knew what you were getting into.

I think PvP works in MMOs, but it would be best to keep it to the battlegrounds. That way the PvE players can avoid it, and those who want the challenge can participate. Taking it a step further, I would make either pre-made champions to play with, or have gear not matter. This way, someone who plays a Druid can stay a Druid in PvP, but they will be homogenized into a generic version of the character. Their gear wouldn’t make a difference, and they would have the same skills as another Druid on the opposing team. Then skill would be paramount, and the arguments over gear scores could cease. PvP can be a mini-game or end-game activity for people who don’t want to raid. Or simply another option. I think a lot of people who don’t PvP might give it a shot if they knew it was only a mini-game, and knew that they would start on a level playing field.

One bit that I noticed while reading other’s writing on the topic, is that those who are against PvP are more adamant about it being the wrong way of doing things than those who are pro-PvP. It seems like PvE players think that all PvP players are assholes and are degrading their game. I find that somewhat insulting, because as a player who is pro-PvP, I can see both sides of the argument, and am trying to brainstorm ideas where we are all happy in the end. Of course, this is a small sampling of people, so I know that there are most likely people on both sides of the fence who are assholes and those who are reasonable. It just almost feels like a more social issue, like people being adamantly against gay marriage, when really it doesn’t affect them one bit.

Anything else I could say on the matter has already been covered. Here’s a list of some others participating in the discussion:

House of Witches
Joseph Skyrim
Doctor Hannah
XP Chronicles
Looking for Playtime

#pvp #nbi2014 #newbiebloggerinitiative #community #opinion

Adventures in Rift

I had a mind to try out Rift at some point anyway, but I don’t think I would have gotten into it as much if I hadn’t been craving a new MMO to play. That isn’t to say that Rift is new, most people are already done with it. But it’s new to me, and having people I already know playing it made it that much easier to get into. Not only does my existing guild from EQ2 have a chapter in Rift, but my Brother-in-law and Sister (who happen to live with me at the moment) started playing, and that decided it for me. I wanted to have something we could all play together, because we all have differing interests when it comes to games. Me and him will play League together, I play some console games with her, and they have games they play together. This was something we could all agree on. First, we had to test drive it, but I would say things have been going well and we will continue to play this game to the end.

The two of them started playing together a day or so before I decided to join in. They were already around level ten when I jumped into the game. I spent the first few days soloing and figuring out the game’s mechanics. I introduced Izlain, my cleric, a while back, but here he is again, freshly created and barely through the tutorial:

tutorial

I chose to roll with the Druid/Sentinel/Cabalist for my solo build. That gives me the pet, melee abilities and some spells from Druid, some single target heals and damage spells from Sentinel, and more dps from the Cabalist. Later, I would add two more roles so that I can main heal in groups and also tank if I so choose. I have yet to tank, but healing has been a breeze. The questing in Rift is much like that of other themeparks: you complete tasks at one quest hub, and then get lead to another. Soon, you have conquered Freemarch, and you move on to the next zone. However, there are some elements of the questing that breaks up the monotony. I enjoy the fact that some quests just randomly pop up in your journal, and usually have to do with killing stuff. Then some mobs will drop items that start further quests. Throw in the Rifts that can sometimes appear right on top of you, and it’s pretty open ended for any play style. If you are the type of person who detests the quest grind, you can simply kill stuff, and grind out rifts. Instant Adventures can also help you level, and you can queue for dungeons at any time, provided you are the appropriate level. I haven’t felt like there is too much to do, and I haven’t felt bored because of the variety.

My initial questing lead me around the world, and as my gear upgraded, my appearance changed. I went from looking rather plain to pretty cool, mostly within the same zone. Before hitting level ten, Izlain already looked quite a bit different:

kelari refuge

It wasn’t long before I was in the Defiant capital city of Meridian, and already looking way more badass:

meridian

I chose to use a big ass two hander because the increase in dps is worth it, particularly when I’ve made it to where I never tank (either my pet does, or I’m healing for a group). I do have a sword/board in my bag for when the mood strikes to tank. As of yet I have shied away from it. I’ve been a tank in too many games. I’ve gravitated towards wanting to play a different role this time around. By this time, I was ready for dungeon running, and we managed to get a full group together, consisting of my immediate family + guildies. We randomly queued and ended up in the Realm of the Fae, which I found out later is actually on the Guardian side of the world. That’s the only unfortunate thing about dungeon queuing, you tend to not know where dungeon entrances are (I have figured that out since). Here’s the group:

realm of the fae

That first run was pissing me off. I was having to tab target between my Dad who was the tank, and his target to be able to add any dps. I realize that as the healer it’s not really necessary to add to the overall dps of the group, it’s your job to heal. But I was able to keep everyone healed and was getting bored, so I wanted to add to the dps. Turns out that there is an option that you have to check that enables you to target your target’s target. Meaning implied targeting isn’t by default. After getting that figured out, dungeon runs were much more efficient and entertaining.

target'starget

The Defiant side dungeon is called the Iron Tomb, and it was a bit more challenging than the Realm of the Fae. I actually let some people die. Not on purpose! The final boss was soon our vicitim, nonetheless:

iron tomb last boss

I did manage to get another run in on the next tier dungeon, but I’m unsure which one it was. That run was just me and my bro-in-law, and it was annoying because we were grouped with an asshole tank. This guy decided to run straight through all the trash mobs from the top of the zone to the bottom. Eventually he had enough mobs on him and we had gotten separated that he died, and he bitched at me for not being able to keep up. I know that I’m not a veteran of the game, but I’m also good at playing games in general. I haven’t had issues with healing full groups to that point, I know it was just his method that got him killed. But I was the guy to blame. I was going to rage quit the group, but my bro calmed me down and we finished the run. It was surprisingly short, but I’m sure that had something to do with the speed run these guys were on. I haven’t been in a dungeon since, instead choosing to get further into the game. Stonefield is about halfway completed. One day I was grinding Rifts as I discovered the Planar gear vendors and realized that gear was better than even the stuff from dungeons. Anyway, I came across this guy while soloing rifts:

huge rift boss

He wasn’t even one of those raid type rift bosses, this was a normal “earth rift,” and he was in the bonus round. He was easy enough to take down though. My Greater Satyr Protector makes most encounters pretty easy. Not to long after this fight, I had enough Planarite and Sourcestones to gear up in the Tier 2 Planar gear:

dances with squirrels

Yeah, I dance with squirrels. But only on the weekends.

I would end it there, but I came across the most annoying quest in my travels. This one ported me to a higher level zone, one where wandering got me killed. I attempted to complete this quest, but it drove me crazy. It’s still in my journal, but I’m not sure I’ll ever go take care of it.

most annoying quest

I beat the first puzzle, and even managed to finish the second. But the third (not pictured) was ridiculous. Basically, you can’t let the red field touch you as you click the center. The third puzzle had a pulsing circle that was only off for a split second. Too many people were attempting the quest at the same time as me, and apparently when you mess up it resets the pattern. Again, I might come back to this but that was simply the most annoying thing I’ve dealt with in an MMO. Period.

That’s it for my adventures thus far. There will be more to come.

#rift #trionworlds #cleric