Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Perfect MMORPG: PvP

Very short and simple chapter in the description of my hypothetical MMORPG which is perfect for me: My perfect MMORPG would not have any PvP at all.

That is not just personal dislike of PvP, but also the consequence of a deeply held belief that the same MMORPG can not have both perfect PvE and perfect PvP. Many of the features that I would like to have for PvE, e.g. levels and gear, conflict with my idea of perfect PvP, which would be based on skill, not differences in level or gear.

Furthermore I think that we have overwhelming evidence of how designing player abilities is made a lot more difficult when the game has both PvE and PvP. You end up with the same ability either doing very different things in the two different environments, or you have to compromise and create abilities that are perfect for neither environment. Simple example: A tank's taunt ability, which is basically defining who he is in PvE, but does strictly nothing in PvP. Not "very little", but "strictly nothing". Other examples would be crowd control, where transforming somebody into a sheep for 1 minute might be something you want to have in PvE, but certainly not in PvP.

Thus instead of having to compromise on my perfect PvE game, I'll just leave PvP totally out of my perfect MMORPG. Like Everquest did, with great success. Better to design a second, perfect PvP MMORPG, instead of failing to make one game which does everything perfectly. There is a decade of history and evidence on PvP in MMORPGs in the western market, and it turns out that in spite of all the hype, PvP only contributes marginally to the sucess of a MMORPG over here. The Asian MMORPG market is different in that respect.

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