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PvP being "normalized"

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Spaz, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Vhael

    Vhael Cupcake

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    Don't get me wrong, I entirely understand that adding incentives can keep players engaged. I merely disagree that adding incentives that further increase your ability to stomp other players in a PvP environment is the way to go about this. Incentive can be added entirely with a point system that awards PvE gear, crafting materials, fashion items, convenience items, potions, etc. The incentive need not be something that handicaps players that do not have said items. While superior items to ROFL-stomp opponents may be a heavy incentive to some, it also chases away fresh new players that step into PvP and get ROFL-stomped. While the Guild Wars 2 eSport style of PvP may not have succeeded for Guild Wars, the style has done wonders for games like LoL, which is more populated than any single MMORPG to date (even the powerhouse known as WoW). Just because Guild Wars 2 failed to maintain a heavy population does not indicate that the entire system is doomed to failure.

    Fun and replayability are entirely subjective, which is a subject GW2 failed to achieve if players are already dropping, but current trends show that more and more gamers are taking a liking to fair and balanced competitive gameplay. I agree with the idea that the developers should seek to bring something to enjoy for all audiences, so they should indeed introduce some form of PvP zones for people who do not want balance. Considering that the original quote this discussion concerns is only directed at BGs, there is no reason yet to believe there are not systems that are not equalized. There can still be world PvP, dueling systems, or even non-equalized variants of the BG/arena systems. If there is a demand for something then let people have it; however, I will forever continue to stand by the idea that normalized gear is the best and most efficient method of a balanced, competitive PvP environment.

    Even if Wildstar ended up having the best PvP of any game ever made (not making any claims this will happen), if a player is looking at PvP not because they inherently enjoy PvP but simply because they want the incentives, then said player is likely to quit PvP anyway once said incentives are achieved. The hardcore, dedicated PvPers are more likely to stick with it if it best delivers the competitive environment they desire.

    Alrighty, let me rephrase my comment a little. Non-equalized gear and balance cannot really coexist. While a well-balanced system could potentially be developed, it requires all gear to have the same stat values, which is still normalized gear, which is what a lot of people appear to be opposed to. As well as similar stat values, it would also require all stats to hold equal weight. They have only stated that your gear is "normalized to the max level of the bracket", so there is still the possibility that the gear still retains the varying stats of the original piece of gear, merely balancing the stats to be on par with higher level pieces of equipment.
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  2. Woke

    Woke Cupcake

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    It is relevant to a degree, but you're trying to compare it as equals. When they simply have some similar concepts, yet are totally different. You're basically comparing the NFL and the NBA, while I am trying to compare one NFL team with another NFL team. The viewers I am targeting all like the NFL and only choose the different teams. The viewers you are targeting like totally different sports, even if they have some similar concepts, it doesn't change the fact that they are different sports with different viewers. Another example would be a Hardcore MMO PvPer is different from a Hardcore CoD player, one dislikes MMOs while another dislikes console gaming. Why would I use something that a hardcore console player likes but a MMO player dislikes and try to implement it into a MMO.

    You missed the main thing that I meant by my GW2 statement. We can talk about hype forever but what I was getting at is the simple fact that GW2 to my knowledge has been the biggest Skill > Gear PvP game to be released yet, and can't sustain PvPers. It simply lacks incentive and feeds casuals who don't want to put any time into the game, but want to be on the same level field with everyone else.

    First, my brackets were an example. Even so though REALLY you are going to cry about one extra PvP gear? I can't argue this, since well if you can't handle someone with one Tier piece above yours and cry about Gear being the reason they won. Maybe my little pony is the game you should be looking at. Non-Ranked PvP will be Gear Value Based as far as Arenas and WarPlots go. All Battlegrounds will be normalized.

    Once again my brackets were examples. They might implement 10 brackets with only a 200 Rating differential. You are making this so called Gear Differences sound like you will be a Gray geared PvPer going against Fully Epic geared PvPers. We are talking about ONE piece of PvP gear until you win a couple of Rated games and get the piece yourself. You might not even get matched against a team with that ONE gear piece. We are talking about one lower tier piece against a next tier piece differential. I am sorry but if you are competitive or hardcore (heck even if you are casual) and you came to me and spoke about how you lost because a guy had one next tier gear piece over you than.......I would recommend to go play my little pony if that is a game. Haha. Trying to avoid getting into the min/max factor of gear, which adds more incentive and competitive and hardcore play but you are getting close.:D
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  3. Woke

    Woke Cupcake

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    Which is why they release patches and expansions, so the incentives never end. The only MMO game that I have seen hold the competitive/hardcore PvPers was WoW during some Vanilla, BC and a little Wrath days. Once they normalized and went the GW2 way with Cata. The competitive/hardcore players left PvP and PvE.
  4. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    To achieve the best PVP competition you want to have competitive match-ups. To do this you need enough people in the matchmaking system to create good match-ups. Gear helps by increasing participation, both in terms of a greater population participating, and that population participating more regularly and for a longer stretch of time. "Pure PVP" and "Loot Whore PVP" players span the range of skill so you want both to be involved to maximize the potential for good match-ups.

    With a proper rating system gear less of a problem. You will eventually reach a point where your combined skill and gear reaches the rating you should be at, now if you are undergeared but more skilled than that, your additional gear acquisition will allow you to push ahead in rating. If you are properly geared for that rating, then you will stay near that rating. This allows people to fight against a wider range of skill, while still having competitive match-ups.
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  5. morroIan

    morroIan New Cupcake

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    I think the reason why I couldn't get into sPvP in GW2 was simply the lack of variety in the game types, they tried to add variety around the edges but it wasn't enough. Perhaps the lack of progression exacerbated the issue. I did, and still do, play a lot of WvW in GW2 however.
  6. Vhael

    Vhael Cupcake

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    An MMO like Wildstar is about bringing in as many players as possible. While a hardcore MMO PvPer is different from a hardcore CoD player, there is no reason why an MMO should not look at the essential elements that makes CoD players like CoD and then utilize these elements into their own game. CoD players need not inherently dislike MMOs (lots of them even play CoD on PC, so already have the systems necessary for MMOs), and hardcore MMO players need not dislike console gaming. I am more attempting to point towards what attracts competitive gamers as opposed to what attracts fans of specific genres, although admittedly both demographics should be considered. A competitive CoD player can take a break and try an MMO, and as competitive players they are likely to be more interested in trying the MMO that has more comparably competitive options available. If there are elements most successful competitive PvP genres have in common, even for different genres that do not typically prioritize this environment, these elements should be taken in consideration when attempting to further expand upon this element.

    Again, just because GW2 was the biggest attempt at the system and failed does not make it the system's fault. Players who want to play in a balanced, competitive playing field are referred to as competitive, not casual. I am a highly competitive gamer and can play a balanced competitive title against other players for hours on end, even if of a genre that I do not particularly like, but the moment I find out I have to grind for a bajillion hours just to become competitively viable, I immediately lose interest. I want to spend time getting better, not gearing up (although this can be fun to do occasionally in PvE). This does not make one casual, merely one that does not want to be forced to derp around for over 9,000 hours before they can enter the "for reals" competitive PvP gameplay.

    In a competitive environment, any disadvantage destroys balance. If there is a potential to get better gear even slightly faster, this system still benefits those who get their first. Some matches are close, and you'd be surprised how many matches can end with the victor standing with a small sliver of HP. In the case of gear discrepancy, that small sliver of HP could be attributed solely to their gear and be that factor that allowed them to further rank up while further keeping you in your place. Even a small advantage can be the deciding factor of a match, which is why balance is key to a competitive match.

    Again, even a small gear difference can be the deciding factor between winning or losing. Even small percentiles have a significant difference in overall capability, which is something people often underestimate. Losing in a neck-to-neck fight by 50/5000 HP is a situation that although not the most common scenario, is far from uncommon. If said opponent has 100 more HP than you, or even 1% more damage reduction, that is attributed solely to a single piece of gear that you cannot possibly obtain yet, they have indeed won solely because of a simple piece of gear that they obtained by reaching said rank before you could. Sure, this difference is minimal on paper and will eventually disappear if you continue to advance, but if the developers want skill to matter more than gear, and the difference is designed to naturally disappear anyway, then why have the difference in the first place? If Battlegrounds are designed solely around being normalized for a competitive environment for competitive players, it seems rather counterproductive to force players to deal with even slight imbalance just to get to the perfectly balanced environment they are promised in the end.
  7. F8L Fool

    F8L Fool Cupcake-About-Town

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    The majority of PvPers that remain in GW2 are the avid WvW fans. What is so ironic about that is the simple fact that GW2 was supposed to be this eSport, Hardcore PvP, totally level playing field MMO that people were supposedly pining for. Yet the most popular PvP mode is easily one of the most broken ever made for a MMO. Clearly they got it wrong.


    Hit the nail on the head. The key to a successful matchmaking is not just having a good algorithm for matching players, but also having a substantial player pool to select from. If you don't have a large enough representation of skill you will either have to sit in very long queues or have lopsided matches. The loot curve doesn't sting so bad when it's 1-5% power differential, compared to a 25-30% (which should be around the absolute cap in a MMO). Gear progression is something people will always strive for because who doesn't like to hit harder, faster, or be more resilient than the day before? Just about no one, which is why PvE and PvP players alike crave shiny new and absolutely substantive gear.

    You can't make an accurate comparison between two games that belong to two entirely different genres. Which not only have different payment models but also, despite what you believe, possess twovery incomparable progression methods.

    The MOBA genre is an entirely different beast than MMO's simply because the lack of competition involved for years and years. LoL came out at the perfect time and ran with a proven concept (DotA 1) that elicited insane amounts of hype from fanboys and newcomers alike. There was also no relevant games to compete with it aside from HoN which wasn't free and released after LoL. DotA 2 was also good ways off at the time, thus resulting in what amounts to a monopoly of the genre.

    Lastly, LoL's progression model is ideal for the genre: characters, runes, etc. That coupled with the fact the game is entirely free to play (no purchase necessary unlike GW2) the entry level for the game is rock bottom, which attracts hordes of more players than any initial or recurring payment game could ever dream of. The key difference between the game is that the more you play one (LoL) the more things open up to you in terms of gameplay. GW2 on the other hand literally capped you the same day which gives zero incentive to continue playing.

    So when you take all of that into account it doesn't matter if LoL has more players than any MMO to date. It's a bad comparison in every respect and would be like comparing CoD to a MMO—which also has more PvP progression than GW2.
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  8. Vhael

    Vhael Cupcake

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    While I agree with patches and expansions increasing incentive to play, in my experience, most players that left WoW was due to age. If players are leaving PvP and PvE in masses, then this cannot be attributed solely to normalized PvP. 5+ years into a game and most people want to try something new, no matter how good it may be. Even consoles are releasing an entirely new next gen system in around the same amount of time. WoW's PvP community can be attributed to the massive amount of players WoW had and still has, much of which is still attributed to their large amounts of PvE content. A large amount of factors surrounding the time frame of WoW's launch make replicating WoW's mass popularity an increasingly difficult task. WoW was huge even in the first year that it did not have PvP, and continued to be huge even when PvP existed with little to no incentive. This does not change the fact that the introduction of PvP has pulled in a lot of different types of players into the game, nor that PvP has become an important staple for MMOs since that time.
  9. Vhael

    Vhael Cupcake

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    The games may be two different genres, but this does not mean that concepts cannot be borrowed from one or the other. The progression methods are not quite all that incomparable, and I'm pretty certain I've seen at least one or two references to LoL while reading developer comments on the Wildstar site over the last few months.

    This is actually the primary factor that has led to WoW's popularity, and WoW's popularity as a result is why it is viewed as the staple MMORPG for comparing all other MMORPGs. This does not make the "beasts" all that different, merely shows that each one has their own monopoly powerhouse. It is important to consider what makes every powerhouse game popular when attempting to release a title intent on pulling a massive player base. While I agree that progression content is important to include in an MMO with high goals, I do not agree it is vital in all forms of play.

    Despite having a price tag, expansion expenses and $15 recurring payments, WoW has still had well over 10 million subscriptions, even topping over 10 million during the launch of the latest MoP expansion. Although WoW has the same advantage as mentioned above, clearly low entry level is not the only way to attract or maintain players. WoW had a huge player base in its earliest year even without any PvP at all (outside of duels), which contributed to a heavy PvP population potential once PvP was introduced. WoW's largest incentive to play was always its vast amount of PvE content, which is why I will concede to GW2's failure being highly due to the lack of any form of progression in any content. GW2 targeted a single type of player only, which is indeed poor planning for any game attempting to maintain a massive community for any extended period of time. An advantage that MMOs have is that by having a variety of PvE and PvP content they can target multiple audiences simultaneously, which inherently increases the potential player population for each type of content. Not taking advantage of this with a large title does seem rather foolish, and is something I felt to be a poor decision in GW2 from the beginning.

    While it may be a bad comparison in some respects to compare LoL to a traditional MMORPG, I do not believe it to be a bad comparison in every aspect. One can replicate the environment that a game or genre is able to provide without having to perfectly replicate the game's or genre's mechanics. I suppose instead of comparing CoD to GW2's fan base, we could compare Halo 1-3's competitive player base. We're ignoring the games after 3 since a different developer got a hold of the franchise and decided to try and turn it into CoD with aliens, which is why I only know 1 of many used-to-be Halo fans that plays it anymore. Halo had a huge player base that did not need upgrade incentives to play, merely playing for fun, for competition or for rank. Guild Wars 2 tried at this same model, but it failed to achieve it. This does not mean the market does not exist for it, merely that they failed to implement it in a compelling enough way. If anything, the massive amount of hype GW2 built up before launching goes to show how large the market for such game play actually is.

    CoD and Halo had always had their own highly populated fan base despite one having a progression model and one not. The one without any progression decided to introduce progression, which killed it for many fans of the series. Being different titles with different models within the same genre, as well as both having an equally dedicated player base, this at least goes to show that there can be an equal market for both models within one genre. This gives little reason to believe that an MMO intending to reach a high population should target only one, since as you mentioned before, a larger overall player base increases the player base for every form of content present. There is no reason why Wildstar cannot have progression content as well as normalized PvP for those seeking a balanced competition.
  10. F8L Fool

    F8L Fool Cupcake-About-Town

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    I'm sorry but what are you talking about? I've seen you say this multiple times in this thread alone but this is the first time I've felt compelled to respond. WoW had a lot of PvP servers even at launch (November 2004) so I assume you are referring to the Honor system. It was introduced in patch 1.4 six months after launch, so not even a year like you claim. The reason Honor rewards were even added to the game wasn't because PvP wasn't popular. They did it to add more incentives for doing so and reward players that really enjoyed it.

    Why? Because they knew people would spend hundreds and hundreds of hours farming up gear and ranks, which means more people to fight and a thriving PvP community. Without the added gear and reuptation grinds I doubt the PvP in WoW ever would have taken off the way it did.

    Finally something we can agree on. I haven't said one time that there should be no normalisation in Wildstar. What I, and mostly every other person that want gear progression has said, is limit it to the entry level PvP only. That way people can still level up and learn to PvP without the fear of gear imbalances, but eventually graduate to the big leagues if they have the drive. There you go: something for everyone.

    What has happened is casual gamers are infecting every facet of MMO's. It started with PvE and slowly but surely expanded to PvP. Not everyone should be able to have the best gear, top ratings, or experience 100% of the content simply because they bought the game. Some developers realize that, like From Software who refuse to put in an easier difficulty setting for the Souls franchise, or Team Ninja that will never nerf the hardest difficulty settings in Ninja Gaiden.

    It is just unfathomable to some consumers that they can't beat a game on Hard, so they start petitions and flame developers to have their way. The result is LFR modes in WoW and slashing raid sizes. Truly depressing if I do say so myself.

    Luckily all signs are pointing to Carbine being equally uncompromising when it comes to Elder game difficulty in Wildstar. This is one of the reasons I've told every person I know that plays MMO's about the game, and several that don't, because games that cater to real gamers need all the support they can get.

    Yet again your comparison doesn't hold water. When LoL released the only other popular game in the history of the genre was a free to play addon, that was not just extremely outdated but also the farthest thing from mainstream. Conversely when WoW was released the MMO industry was already becoming a crowded space with quite a few hit games. Obviously not in the vicinity of 5-10 million subscribers, but a respectable 250k-2 million wasn't surprising.

    Here are just a few games that were really popular at the time and all came out before WoW: Ultima Online, Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies, Lineage 1, Lineage 2, Dark Age of Camelot, Asherons Call, EVE, Anarchy Online, Maple Story, Ragnarok Online.

    So to compare a genre like MOBA's to MMO's with respect to success isn't fair to either genre. The reason that WoW really hit a home run isn't because there wasn't competition. It's because Blizzard was the first really popular developer to release one and it built on an already successful brand, with a craze pre-existing fan base—many of whom were still waiting for the next DotA and settled for WoW. That coupled with the fact they stole every good idea from the three most popular MMO's and simplified them.
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  11. Woke

    Woke Cupcake

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    Every Hardcore FPS players I know and they are the majority of my friends have no interest in MMOs. I have a couple of casual FPS friends that may play both, but they are definitely in the minority and are casuals. Vice Versa with my Hardcore MMO friends. Then again this is a personal conclusion. Even though most FPS games like CoD have a gear progression as well. Personally, I am glad they are not taking console FPS, and Fighting games as a design for such a core concept in a MMO being PvP. It would fail so quickly. I have never seen someone just dismiss incentives in a MMO so easily. I should of dismissed this nonsense back three posts ago and avoided this idea of comparing FPS, Fighting, Strategy Games, and MOBAs with a MMO my fault for playing along.

    I played Ranked Arenas for about three straight years and I NEVER had that so called scenario happen until I got into 2k+ arena matches where we all had full PvP sets. I wouldn't call them anything more than uncommon if not rare. In fact the ones I did have I actually loved them, and of course you lose some and win some. I never hated them and I especially never have once cried about gear in PvP or PvE. They were probably my most epic moments that I can recall from my PvP days. You sound like someone who would cry about getting hit with a crit. By your definition I could go down the line about balance issues other than gear with stats, classes, talent builds, crits, map design, latency, abilities, and most of all luck of %s. I would hate PvPing with someone like that.

    My last post since it is obvious that we are two different people. In the end, I am glad this game so far is designed for someone like me. I believe I have clearly stated how Wildstar will be and gave over ten incentives on the system and how it will be competitive. If you want a game with only one incentive in an Elo system than good luck with finding your MMO.
  12. PlayerOne

    PlayerOne Cupcake-About-Town

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    If a game needs a constant gear treadmill in PvP or PvE then the game itself simply isn't good enough. It is that simple.

    Gear grinds are a crutch used by developers to fill the gaps in their talent and/or funding to make new and fun content at a fast enough rate to keep the majority of max. level of players entertained.

    If there was enough fun, accessible, challenging and exciting content and PvP in a game you would rarely hear anyone (other than those who wish to buy power with time) complain about a lack of gear grinding.
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  13. F8L Fool

    F8L Fool Cupcake-About-Town

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    By those standards you just disqualified something along the lines of 99.5% of MMO's ever released from being called "good". I would say 100% but I'm sure there are some obscure games that don't fit said criteria, that is parading around as a MMO but no one has ever heard of it. Have you ever considered what the essence of what a gear grind really encompasses, beyond giving the player something to do? Because I have.

    The truth of the matter is that players are rarely ever forced to grind gear in a game for an extended length of time. In fact, most games will supply enough equipment through simple quests and entry level dungeons alone that will allow you to experience the majority of what a game has to offer. The only time a true grind comes into play is when a player wants to break into the hardest dungeons and raid content, which rarely encompasses more than 10-25% of the average MMO's total content.

    The same can also be said of PvP gear. If you give me or any of my regular PvP partners a set of gear in most games, that takes roughly 15-20 hours worth of work to obtain—hardly a true grind by any stretch—we will be able to compete with the majority of better geared players. Maybe not consistently win all the time, but at least make it competitive. Because the higher tiers of PvP comes down to player skill, team synergy and coordination. Case in point: I grinded gear on my friends fresh lvl 90 Druid for a week and was able to go 32-6 with equally geared partners in 3's.

    There are very few successful MMO's that make the gear gap legitimately insurmountable by player skill. The problem is people use gear as a crutch for their shortcomings rather than getting better. That is the true source of the animosity towards PvP and PvE gear progression; not imbalances.
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  14. Arrclyde

    Arrclyde New Cupcake

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    @Vhael:
    As much as i have to agree with u in most cases i read here, in some i have to disagree: WoW has had a good PvP-Time in bc where gear tiers tend to be closer together. Since then participation in arena and battlegrounds went down. WoW is more a PvE-Game then PvP type of game. There has been a statistic of Blizzard showing that most active accounts are on PvE-Servers, in the US even more than in Germany for example. And even PvP-Server tend to become PvE-servers (NO, not because of flying mounts) because of server/fraction-change. In Germany u have like 3 major PvP-servers.... and all are like 90 to 10% onside tending to get worse.
    Besides that: WoW now has only 8 million players world wide, and the next conference call is coming up soon. I am pretty sure there will be even a decrease in those numbers. That doesn't make WoW a bad game. It is just being the normal thing of getting older for a game.

    Besides that and on topic:
    I think gear shouldn't be the most important part when it comes to player vs player fights. Grinding gear takes mostly just time. And why should i have an automatic advantage by playing a game for month over someone who started like two weeks ago? I had the advantage to enjoy the game longer then he/she did, so if they can beat me by playing better they deserve to win. Why should i have like an automated increase in chances of winning fights? No, far of better gear stats doesn't make PvP great.
  15. Nezk

    Nezk Cupcake

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    Play on a PvP server, trust me an equal BG is way more fun than a steamroll.

    and Sides ur gear matters in ranked games.
  16. Anstalt

    Anstalt Cupcake-About-Town

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    You are probably correct in that I'm in the minority. The thing I like most in MMOs is variety, in fact, that is what I like in life in general! Variety keeps things interesting, it gives you something to do when you get bored with what you are doing currently.

    Within MMOs, most of my gamer friends are big raiders, but I find raiding gets boring quickly. So, I like to have options to keep things interesting! Within the raids itself, I like to be able to change builds, change team setups, change tactics to make things intersting. Outside of raids, I like to have the option to do lots of other activities. Often, that other activity will be pvp, but sometimes I might feel in the mood for some crafting, other times I'll level an alt, other times I might want to roleplay, and other times i might go do something random in game.

    A game that supports and encourages lots of different playstyles and lets you chop and change whenever you want is a game that will keep its playerbase for a long time. Vertical gear progression prevents this. Separating pvp and pve gear prevents this. Maybe there are other solutions to the problem but I've not seen them personally and not read about them anywhere.
  17. Anstalt

    Anstalt Cupcake-About-Town

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    Everything becomes boring in the end, given enough time. Everything.

    A well designed pvp system might keep you entertained for 6 months, a year, compared to a bad one which might only hold your interest for one month. Eventually you will get bored. It is an inevitability. It is human nature.

    Gear progression is there to keep you playing after you have gotten bored. Ofc, it would be better if the devs could just release new content quick enough that we didn't need gear progression but that simply isn't feasible. No game ever has designed a system that is fun for everyone and never gets boring. It isn't possible because human beings are all different.
  18. PlayerOne

    PlayerOne Cupcake-About-Town

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    I didn't disqualify them from being called good at all. I said, if I said anything about them at all, that they aren't good enough to survive without a gear grind.

    I said max. level players.

    I thought you were trying to make a reasonable argument. Instead you seized an opportunity to tell the world how good you think you are at PvP.


    Gear is a divider. It stops everyone starting a fight/game/match on the same level. And in something where skill is supposed to be the main factor that is ridiculous.


    Let us remember this statement for later on in your post.


    But, as you said earlier, "Everything becomes boring in the end" and that applies to gear grinding too. Gear grinding isn't actually that exciting at all when compared to the rest of what an MMO should offer.

    Once players get their head around the fact that in the grand scheme of things they aren't grinding gear to get better but simply to stop themselves getting worse they start to get bored by it very quickly in my opinion.

    And the trouble with that is is that a very large number of players who are new to a certain MMO aren't new to MMOs in general. They know what the gear grind is and carry over the boredom from their previous game.
  19. plic70

    plic70 Cupcake-About-Town

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    I don't disagree that once you have attained the "max" level of gear you can get at the time, boredom starts to set in. Hopefully with Warplots they can help curb that boredom because now we have something mutable to play around with and mayhaps, and I would absolutely love this, Warparties would need to gear/spec/play differently depending on how Warplots are going to play out.
    Example: If teams share respawns or death is permanent, then it would offer different strategies to play. Do you want to go full defense and play attrition and slowly dwindle them down with some minor scouting parties? Do you want to go whole hog door busting offense and smash it up? Or, do you want to be a little more strategic and play a balance comp and has the, for lack of a better term, head to head run fest fight in the middle of the grounds? If the weapons, structure, and raid boss mechanics are tune-able to each scenario.

    Yes, I veered off course, apologies, but it hit me as I was typing and needed to put it down before I forgot.

    But conversely, there are plenty of progression raid guilds that will run content that they have mastered and have all the gear to simply because they can, it is there, and/or they want to see how fast they can do it or try different methods. If there was nothing to strive for though, then the boredom sets in faster. But, ultimately there needs to be some form of measureable progression for PVE/PVP, the gear grind being the simplest.

    -Plic-
  20. Vhael

    Vhael Cupcake

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    First off, going to apologize for my exceptionally long wall of text. Sometimes I tend to just rant excessively longer than I probably should.

    I apologize for this and acknowledge I have made a mistake here. It's been a while since I played WoW and just rechecked the patch notes and see that it was about 7 months after WoW's launch with patch 1.5 that Battlegrounds were introduced, which is what I was remembering. I was a bit incorrect in that I thought WoW came out way earlier in 2004 than November. I seem to have been mixing when I started WoW at launch with when I started City of Heroes about a half a year sooner; for some reason I was thinking WoW came first. I suppose I have always dodged open world PvP since it is inherently not a balanced PvP environment, so I neglected to even acknowledge when those existed back in my earlier MMO days. I guess I'll have to remember from now on that WoW came out around the end of 2004 and actually had PvP servers.

    I literally never encountered anyone discussing PvP in WoW until BGs were introduced (outside of how terribly balanced classes were in duels), and I've met a lot of WoW players (who hasn't?). I've never met anybody that seriously played on a WoW PvP server even to this day, especially at launch when balance and bugs were so terribad (not as perfect a launch as many people accredit the game for). I remember when ganking was even an issue on PvE servers because higher levels could mark themselves for PvP then hug lowbies in hopes of getting chipped by an AoE so they could kill them. Even after the introduction of honor and BGs, the PvP was so underpopulated that with the BGs and the honor system, queuing could take forever despite the game's huge player base. The only queues that had more reasonable wait times were the low levels where the twinked characters ran rampant, which for many was because farming up the gear to min/max the highest levels took so long, and for others was because they wanted to stomp less geared lowbies. Once you hit 60 queues were practically impossible to get into, although the queue times were eventually fixed through cross-realm PvP. Though progression can be said to have attributed to the PvP's overall success, a point I would not contend, it also received a huge boost in popularity after the arena rankings/PvP ladder were introduced even though PvP incentives had already existed before this.

    The problem I have with these comparisons is that grinding does not make content more challenging, merely more tedious. I would never have supported the difficulty of WoW be reduced, but I fully supported when people requested either more flight points or a reduction of size in the Barrens to avoid the dreaded 30 minute hike. I can understand promoting grinding or farming in raising character progression, but it seems unnecessary when promoting a balanced competitive PvP setting. Sure, they can have all of the incentives and perks that they want in other forms of PvP, such as open world PvP servers, dedicated PvP zones, unranked BGs/arenas, etc., but to also have this gear based system in normalized PvP just seems needless. Any kind of gear disparity makes the system automatically not fully balanced, with the possible exception of normalized gear options that are equally available to everyone. If there is no disparity in the gear due to their rallying system anyway then the gear does not seem to actually have a purpose outside of appearance. I would personally be fine with this, and even prefer it, as I feel that is how gear should be in a normalized setting; however, this does not appear to be what I see them aiming for.

    A ranking system seems it would suffice for people that want to play for the competitive environment. As long as open and unranked PvP exists there is no reason why they cannot put the incentivized grinds there. Having a further grind after grinding up to level cap before being able to even participate in the "for real competitive setting" just makes the process of entering more monotonous rather than more challenging. This is especially true for people that maybe want to attempt competing in balanced competition with multiple classes/builds. This kind of system merely reduces the competitive options available to competitive players that do not have as much time to farm. This is a system that reduces competitive options as opposed to actually increasing difficulty or challenge. "Hardcore gamers" are not limited only to those that have 10+ hours a day to play, and it should never be treated as such.

    Something that I'll truly need to see in practice is how they plan their normalizing system to work. They seem to want all of their PvP models to be skill based, hence they have stated in their "Uplink Analysis: PvP" article that there is an individual Elo system each for Arenas, BGs and Warplot PvP that will be used to match people based on skill. They stated in their comment in OP's post that they will match people with similar gear values, but then that their rallying system will normalize their stats and gear, which questions the intent of the gear value matching system in PvP. They state that the newer gear obtained from increasing PvP rank is to allow players to stay competitive with people of the higher ranks, but they also state that everyone's gear will already be normalized according to their bracket anyway. I suppose I'll have to wait and see how gear value and normalizing of gear plays out to see if they can actually balance it, which I doubt is possible unless the gear is normalized stat for stat.

    The detriment that I personally view that aiming towards casual gamers has caused is that every aspect of every system of every game has to have immediate rewards or it's not worth playing. People used to be able to play games for challenge or solely to compete, but now it seems people only want to play if they are handed a trophy just for investing time. Being ranked number one used to be a mark of status that competitive players wanted to achieve simply for what it represented, but now people need to be handed that next leet item for it to be worth their time. Balance only really seems to be relevant to the players already at the top, which not every competitive gamer will have the time, regardless of skill, to reach. This holds especially true if grinding is required before being able to participate in the PvP that actually matters to the player. I suppose they could prevent or minimize this, but they would have to make the grind to become competitively viable very minimal.

    This I fully agree with. I simply hope that in the end "difficult" does not equate to "monotonous time sink" like it does to a lot of modern developers and gamers. A boss taking 30+ minutes to down simply by having millions of HP more than the previous boss does not make it inherently more challenging, just as grinding up PvP gear before being able to play competitive PvP does not inherently make PvP more challenging. The challenge is in how difficult something is to achieve and not in how long it takes to achieve.

    One of the main problems I have with this comparison is that MMO is a seemingly much more broad term than MOBA (at least thus far). While I understand the point you are making, I would not really put for example Maplestory, EVE, and WoW, despite being MMOs, within the same category as far as game mechanics and target demographics. One is a 2D chibi anime inspired side scroller, one is a 3D open world medieval fantasy game, and the other is, well, EVE. While we can look at and compare what makes each of these games successful, I'd personally say EVE is as different from Maplestory as LoL is from WoW, despite the latter being separate genres.

    While competition existed for WoW, I would not consider the competition to have been even a remotely crowded space, as opposed to today where it is flooded with similar games. I feel that WoW launched well enough before that happened for it to become a powerhouse, just as LoL did with MOBAs. Sure, there were likely many other factors, but that factor is what I feel is most relevant today for new MMOs. When considering the fame and budget that Blizzard already had to work with, I do not feel the 'competition' they had was really all that strong. Just comparing WoW visually to its more populated contenders at the time gives a good look into this. I feel it is this that made the whole "steal every good idea" concept viable for WoW. Any MMO that tries that today is just bashed as a "WoW clone" because WoW has already claimed its dominance in this department before the market had become so crowded with so many players and options.

    WoW had already claimed such fame unlike any other option before it that it became the renowned entry MMO, much like LoL will be for MOBAs for likely many more years to come. While LoL may have had far less competition than WoW when it launched, I still feel they both amassed such popularity primarily because of when they launched and the opportunities the time frame of their respective launches offered.

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