Non-PVP Server?


Pathfinder Online

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I have been looking forward to seeing how PFO would work, but more and more i see how heavy it sounds into PVP. I stopped playing a certain other MMO because of the focus it had on PVP. I absolutely detest PVP.

So, my question to those in charge of making this game ... Is there any possibility that you could create at least one server with no PVP aspect? I realize I am in the minority on this issue, but I would really like to play PFO, but will not if it is as PVP heavy as it sounds.

Dark Archive

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I doubt PFO will even have such a thing as a "server" in the traditional aspect, ie, all players will log into the same consistent world. The playerbase will be small enough for modern tech to host the entire world as a single environment every customer who buys the game will log into.

In that aspect, no. But in another way PVP will very much the CENTRAL aspect of this games focus.

Goblin Squad Member

The plans are for there to be one server. There are ways for you to limit your exposure to PVP, but not completely.

This game is about settlement building, and the controlling of hexes. In order to do those things, you will need access to resources. Settlements will be in competiton for access to those resources.

Competition will breed warfare. Warfare will bring PVP to the doorsetps of everyone connected to the settlements involved in the war. If you find you are connected to a settlemtn that is at war too often for your own taste, leave that settlement.

If you find that traveling in the wilderness si too dangerous because of the Open World PVP that exists in the unsettled zones, avoid them.

You can live your entire time in the NPC starter towns and the few NPC cities that there will be. This will severally limit your exposure to PVP, but also slow your progress down towards higher skill or greater wealth.

I have found that MMOs are actually far less dangerous than PnP RPGs. Death in an MMO is typically a minor inconvenience. In PnP RPGs death tends to be fairly significant (difficult or expensive to find ressurection).

Goblin Squad Member

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Carbon D. Metric wrote:
...PVP will very much the CENTRAL aspect of this games focus.

Mmm, I take issue. PvP is the most difficult and sensitive of the mechanics of the game environment the developers are building so it is getting the most attention here. However all the game developer is doing is building the environment, other than implementing features and characteristics intended to remind the player of the Pathfinder universe.

But what the game itself will be all about, beyond an initial themepark-like starting phase, is whatever the players make of it. If the players universally elect to do other things than PvP then PvP will find domain only as a potential, a possibility.

I am hoping that much of what we do will be constructing and exploring. The PvP will be largely banditry until we have settlements so fully developed that they must war to increase their dominion.

We are to be the content. GW is building the setting and how it works. We will be creating the stories. Probably much of that story will be marked by PvP and involve PvP, but that is on us.

Goblin Squad Member

Alephtau wrote:
I absolutely detest PVP.

I've read this a fair bit and I used to be in the same boat. Why do you detest PVP? The answer is different for many people.

Alephtau wrote:
Is there any possibility that you could create at least one server with no PVP aspect?

The answer to this has been stated many times: No. A PvE server becomes a themepark game, something that is a)out of GW's budget and b) is rather contrary to the foundation concept.

My advice is to not judge anything before you try it. Things are still very much in flux right now, and there are a plethora of fantastic ideas that the community here, many of whom are decidedly not staunch PVP supporters, have come up with to make things enjoyable for everyone.

Goblin Squad Member

Yup it's already been stated, but the general mechanics of the game are built expecting PVP, and thus a non PVP server just wouldn't work. That is, the entire mechanics of the game, just fall apart without the threat of PVP.

One analogy that is worth bringing up, is I believe DaoC, is an example of a game that did this. They had a large amount of PVP in the game, admitted it had flaws etc... but then after a few years, they created a PVE server. Within about a week 70% of the population went to the PVE servers, at first you would argue that is a good case for PVE... but the end result wasn't good. Without the threat of PVP, the game couldn't stand on it's own... the PVE server had a huge spike of players, but they were gone within a couple weeks. The PVP server, having lost 70% of it's players, also died in that same couple of weeks. In the end... the moral is, if the game is built with the assumption of PVP.... a PVE server just won't work, and will be detrimental to the survival of the PVP server.

That isn't to say that PVP is the sole value of the game, far from it, but in many ways it is the driving force to encourage the PVE activity. PVE in nature is calculated risks, of which gains will almost certainly outweigh losses. PVP on the other hand... the losses are generally to match or outweigh gains in more cases than not. With a pure PVE focus... you will consistantly be moving foward, challanges become less valued etc...

Even if you do not participate in PVP, the existance of PVP is what keeps the resources you find and the equipment you create, valuable and meaningful.

Goblin Squad Member

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Not to mention that playing on a PvP server would be incredibly boring, so the players there would begin clamoring for "More Content!", which is exactly the dynamic that Ryan is trying to avoid by creating a sandbox where player interaction is the content.

Goblin Squad Member

Hey Alephtau, if you're the right level of Kickstarter backer I say try the game for a month or so for free and team up with one of the crafting/defending type CCs. You might have fun.

Goblin Squad Member

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Alephtau wrote:

I have been looking forward to seeing how PFO would work, but more and more i see how heavy it sounds into PVP. I stopped playing a certain other MMO because of the focus it had on PVP. I absolutely detest PVP.

So, my question to those in charge of making this game ... Is there any possibility that you could create at least one server with no PVP aspect? I realize I am in the minority on this issue, but I would really like to play PFO, but will not if it is as PVP heavy as it sounds.

As Carbon D. Metric says, the server-structure is not built on a basis of 3,000 players per server as a themepark game is designed ie content ratio to number of players. The map in PFO is made up of hexes which will (I am sure) use a different type of server structure, possibly similar to EVE Online's cluster.

This Q&A interview with Ryan Dancey, CEO of Goblin Works, by Forbes sheds more light on the subject:

Forbes wrote:

Forbes: Why host the entire game on one server?

Ryan Dancey: The more people that are able to interact with each other, the more meaningful their choices become. Having one server means having one economic system – everyone buying and selling things on the various markets introduces more transparency and a stronger price signal, for example. Having one map means that all the territory is worth fighting for; there’s consequences to taking and holding territory and consequences for letting someone else take and hold territory that affect every player on the server.

But it also matters for real-world social connections. Everyone on one server means that you can always play with friends – you don’t have to try and figure out which distinct server they’re on and either create a character there or get an existing character moved there.

Forbes: I’ve heard readers express concerns over “non-consensual PvP.” How will you account for these players?

Ryan Dancey: Conflict is the beating heart of Pathfinder Online. Conflict is what drives the meaningful human interaction that we seek to create. Player vs. Player conflict is a core facet of that conflict. The players of most MMOs see PvP as a binary choice; either they are subjected to continuous unwanted hassle from players seeking to harass them, or they are protected from all PvP except in designated areas and at designated times. Many players have had really bad experiences with opponents who seek to inflict “grief” on their victims – attempting to ruin the game experience of others simply for their own amusement.

The widespread trend in MMOs is to gate all PvP content to shield the vast majority of the players from ever having to engage in it. We think this is unfortunate, and that PvP has a place in Pathfinder Online.

We think this is one of the places where we can truly innovate. We are working on offering a third choice – one that preserves the intense engagement and immersion that widespread PvP creates, while minimizing the effects of players who seek to inflict “grief” on others.

We have studied a lot of MMOs that offer PvP going all the way back to Ultima Online. Our conclusion is that there is no magic bullet which delivers a robust PvP experience while insuring against “griefers”. Our approach therefore is to use many different tactics working together in a “layered defense” against misbehavior. That approach includes things like making the consequences for attacking other characters quite steep, having a swift policy of intervening in the game when griefing is reported to our game moderators, and engaging with the community to avoid allowing the toxic bullying behavior that we see in many other games take root in Pathfinder Online.

We know a lot of players are skeptical of our ability to balance the competing agendas that PvP enables but I am confident that if those players give us a chance, we can change their minds.

Forbes: Finally, what are you most excited about with this game? What will make it, in your opinion, a new experience for burnt-out MMO fans?

Ryan Dancey: The thing that makes me most excited is creating new experience for burnt-out MMO fans. :)

The industry has been iterating on the format introduced by EverQuest in 1999, and refined by World of Warcraft in 2004. It’s past time to try something new. I love taking on really hard problems, like making a sandbox game, or making a game with PvP, that the conventional wisdom says can’t be done, and finding creative solutions to those problems. I’d like to see Pathfinder Online recognized as a game that changed a lot of minds and opinions about how to make a successful MMO.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Not to mention that playing on a PvP server would be incredibly boring, so the players there would begin clamoring for "More Content!", which is exactly the dynamic that Ryan is trying to avoid by creating a sandbox where player interaction is the content.

Sorry, this made me laugh :-p

I think you meant PvE :-)


Alephtau wrote:

I have been looking forward to seeing how PFO would work, but more and more i see how heavy it sounds into PVP. I stopped playing a certain other MMO because of the focus it had on PVP. I absolutely detest PVP.

So, my question to those in charge of making this game ... Is there any possibility that you could create at least one server with no PVP aspect? I realize I am in the minority on this issue, but I would really like to play PFO, but will not if it is as PVP heavy as it sounds.

I have to ask. Why do you detest PvP? What games have you experienced PvP in?

Personally I find PvP to be a very different experience when you compare a sandbox game to a themepark game. PvP in a game with murder counts or alignment/reputation is very likely to demand a greater commitment to the PvP then a themepark game where you can still go back to town and rest between your killing sprees without a worry about anyone being able to get revenge.

Goblin Squad Member

Summersnow wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Not to mention that playing on a PvP server would be incredibly boring, so the players there would begin clamoring for "More Content!", which is exactly the dynamic that Ryan is trying to avoid by creating a sandbox where player interaction is the content.

Sorry, this made me laugh :-p

I think you meant PvE :-)

I did. Dagnabbit.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:

Yup it's already been stated, but the general mechanics of the game are built expecting PVP, and thus a non PVP server just wouldn't work. That is, the entire mechanics of the game, just fall apart without the threat of PVP.

One analogy that is worth bringing up, is I believe DaoC, is an example of a game that did this. They had a large amount of PVP in the game, admitted it had flaws etc... but then after a few years, they created a PVE server. Within about a week 70% of the population went to the PVE servers, at first you would argue that is a good case for PVE... but the end result wasn't good. Without the threat of PVP, the game couldn't stand on it's own... the PVE server had a huge spike of players, but they were gone within a couple weeks. The PVP server, having lost 70% of it's players, also died in that same couple of weeks. In the end... the moral is, if the game is built with the assumption of PVP.... a PVE server just won't work, and will be detrimental to the survival of the PVP server.

That isn't to say that PVP is the sole value of the game, far from it, but in many ways it is the driving force to encourage the PVE activity. PVE in nature is calculated risks, of which gains will almost certainly outweigh losses. PVP on the other hand... the losses are generally to match or outweigh gains in more cases than not. With a pure PVE focus... you will consistantly be moving foward, challanges become less valued etc...

Even if you do not participate in PVP, the existance of PVP is what keeps the resources you find and the equipment you create, valuable and meaningful.

I believe your comment to be telling. If 70% of the population left, then question is why did they leave to PVE server instead of stay on the PVP server. Is the answer that 30% of the population was griefing the other 70% and is the reason the game failed is because the PVE server game could not stand alone without PVP play and the PVP server fell apart because there were no more victims to abuse and therefore boring for all the griefers. If this is the case then the game has a fundamental flaw that allowed players who like to bully people to run the other people out of the game. In reading the blogs and forum posts I definitely see this game going the same way right now.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
...PVP will very much the CENTRAL aspect of this games focus.
But what the game itself will be all about, beyond an initial themepark-like starting phase, is whatever the players make of it.

The unfortunate aspect contradicting you is that one player can make it about PvP even if another player does not. That works in a space themed sandbox, but I am reserving judgment about whether this will actually be fun in a fantasy setting.

Goblin Squad Member

Victor Ippolito wrote:
I believe your comment to be telling. If 70% of the population left, then question is why did they leave to PVE server instead of stay on the PVP server. Is the answer that 30% of the population was griefing the other 70% and is the reason the game failed is because the PVE server game could not stand alone without PVP play and the PVP server fell apart because there were no more victims to abuse and...

As above in the interview:

Quote:

Forbes: I’ve heard readers express concerns over “non-consensual PvP.” How will you account for these players?

Ryan Dancey: Conflict is the beating heart of Pathfinder Online. Conflict is what drives the meaningful human interaction that we seek to create. Player vs. Player conflict is a core facet of that conflict. The players of most MMOs see PvP as a binary choice; either they are subjected to continuous unwanted hassle from players seeking to harass them, or they are protected from all PvP except in designated areas and at designated times. Many players have had really bad experiences with opponents who seek to inflict “grief” on their victims – attempting to ruin the game experience of others simply for their own amusement.

The widespread trend in MMOs is to gate all PvP content to shield the vast majority of the players from ever having to engage in it. We think this is unfortunate, and that PvP has a place in Pathfinder Online.

We think this is one of the places where we can truly innovate. We are working on offering a third choice – one that preserves the intense engagement and immersion that widespread PvP creates, while minimizing the effects of players who seek to inflict “grief” on others.

We have studied a lot of MMOs that offer PvP going all the way back to Ultima Online. Our conclusion is that there is no magic bullet which delivers a robust PvP experience while insuring against “griefers”. Our approach therefore is to use many different tactics working together in a “layered defense” against misbehavior. That approach includes things like making the consequences for attacking other characters quite steep, having a swift policy of intervening in the game when griefing is reported to our game moderators, and engaging with the community to avoid allowing the toxic bullying behavior that we see in many other games take root in Pathfinder Online.

We know a lot of players are skeptical of our ability to balance the competing agendas that PvP enables but I am confident that if those players give us a chance, we can change their minds.

Time to innovate.

@Soldack: I think the form it will take if successful is that pvp combat is just one form of conflict. A political meeting with trade rights and treaties trashed out is another "conflict" which perhaps is more economical to pursue for comparison? I like the idea of disguising as enemy agents and attacking... to cause a conflict -> combat!

Goblin Squad Member

Victor Ippolito wrote:


I believe your comment to be telling. If 70% of the population left, then question is why did they leave to PVE server instead of stay on the PVP server. Is the answer that 30% of the population was griefing the other 70% and is the reason the game failed is because the PVE server game could not stand alone without PVP play and the PVP server fell apart because there were no more victims to abuse and...

Ignoring the conotations... the game stood. Whether you want to assume that every player that chose to stay on the PVP server was a griefer or not. The PVP helped keep even the players who chose PVE from quitting. It extended their enjoyment of the game for them, even if they didn't realize it at the time.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
Victor Ippolito wrote:


I believe your comment to be telling. If 70% of the population left, then question is why did they leave to PVE server instead of stay on the PVP server. Is the answer that 30% of the population was griefing the other 70% and is the reason the game failed is because the PVE server game could not stand alone without PVP play and the PVP server fell apart because there were no more victims to abuse and...

Ignoring the conotations... the game stood. Whether you want to assume that every player that chose to stay on the PVP server was a griefer or not. The PVP helped keep even the players who chose PVE from quitting. It extended their enjoyment of the game for them, even if they didn't realize it at the time.

Please note that I used "If" as I do not know whether they moved for that reason or not. I found it fasinating that it occured and was only speculating. I am glad the game did not fold and I agree that this game would not work in a PvE envoronment. That being said I think that it will need to overcome the, I will call it 5%, of the players that will be griefing the other 95%. I have posted a new thread [And "Evil" Shall Inherit the World] about my thought. Take a look at it and post what you think about it.

Goblin Squad Member

That will be our challenge: to overcome those jerks who will keep popping out of the woodwork yet welcome everyone else when we know none of them from Adam.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
Summersnow wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Not to mention that playing on a PvP server would be incredibly boring, so the players there would begin clamoring for "More Content!", which is exactly the dynamic that Ryan is trying to avoid by creating a sandbox where player interaction is the content.

Sorry, this made me laugh :-p

I think you meant PvE :-)

I did. Dagnabbit.

It works with PvP, because if there was a PvE server, almost all people that can tolerate PvP, but prefer PvE would go play there, and the PvP server would become a gank fest, everyone would get bored, and ask for more content because the 'players are content' is now boring.

CEO, Goblinworks

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A >>>> LOT <<<< of people who play MMOs with PvP would prefer that there be no PvP. They THINK that the game would be great of they just didn't have to worry about the PvP anymore.

When those requests are catered to, there is a virtual certainty that the result is catastrophe. The resulting PvP-less game loses the vital driving forces that made everything NOT PvP interesting. The economy collapses. The reasons to log in and interact vanish. The game population crashes, and nobody tries it for the first time. Soon all that are left are people basically using the game as a chat channel and a social space, and a hard core of True Believers who can't understand how STUPID the Developers are, and if they'd only try whatever ideas the True Believers have, the glory days would return and all would be well.

The truth is that taking the PvP out made a lot of people happy for a short period of time and killed the game. The fact that this pattern repeats every time it is tried does not seem to impact the logic of those who ask for it to be done again.

Goblin Squad Member

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Best game I played with PvP being fairly prevalent was Pirates of the Burning Sea's. I wasn't into PvP because of the mindset I had associated with people who like PvP. They tended, in my opinion at that time, to consist of people who simply liked to annoy their fellow players for their on dark amusement.

Now with PotBS I was in Beta and on the RP server (before they figured out they had too many servers) and found to my surprise that PvP with other people (that behaved like mature adults) was quite enjoyable. I had more than one duel between ships that ended with no one being sunk and a simple "salute" or "bow" before we went our separate ways (Cat Swift rocked).

I am hoping this game will be like that. Where even being a Thief with a sense of honor can get you a good rep amongst your fellow players...not to say I'm going to play a Thief..I'm just sayin'...

Goblin Squad Member

UO was a good example of what Ryan is talking about. Those who didn't like the open world PvP complained enough to get the game split into Trammel (consensual PvP) and Felucca (full PvP).

The worst casualty of that split on my server (Castkills) was the death of the best player run towns I've ever seen in an MMO. The most tragic was a player town called Kinship, which was left behind on Felucca when people moved en mass to Trammel. A handful of loyal citizens tried to hold on, but eventually Kinship became a ghost town.

The real question was, how did Kinship survive all those in years in that horrible free-for-all PvP world before the split? Easily - the citizens of Kinship worked together. They networked using ICQ (there was no in-game chat channel at the time), and when a PKer attempted to use the lure of the town to attack unsuspecting travelers, the town militia players were messaged and the murderer found himself dealing with a hunting party chasing him through the woods until they killed him.

Back on Trammel, everyone was safely unable to attack one another unless they were in a guild that was hi-lighted with the people they wanted to attack. Quite often this resulted in some of the worst verbal griefing imaginable, since you couldn't turn around and whack the annoying player. If someone in a hi-lighted enemy guild did something you didn't like, the usual retaliation wasn't to attack them or even role-play a solution, but to drop hi-lighting. Yes, you were safe from PKers, but for role-players, far too often, the natural, in-character response to a situation (which "might" involve violence) was taken away from people.

So, though I've said before that at least my character Hobs will not involve himself (at least willingly) in PvP, I look forward to living in a world that allows it. In my experience, the best role-play needs all the possibilities, even the dangerous ones. With potential danger comes the real need to depend on one another for help, safety, and security. Without it, the game becomes far too predictable and bland.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

A >>>> LOT <<<< of people who play MMOs with PvP would prefer that there be no PvP. They THINK that the game would be great of they just didn't have to worry about the PvP anymore.

When those requests are catered to, there is a virtual certainty that the result is catastrophe. The resulting PvP-less game loses the vital driving forces that made everything NOT PvP interesting. The economy collapses. The reasons to log in and interact vanish. The game population crashes, and nobody tries it for the first time. Soon all that are left are people basically using the game as a chat channel and a social space, and a hard core of True Believers who can't understand how STUPID the Developers are, and if they'd only try whatever ideas the True Believers have, the glory days would return and all would be well.

The truth is that taking the PvP out made a lot of people happy for a short period of time and killed the game. The fact that this pattern repeats every time it is tried does not seem to impact the logic of those who ask for it to be done again.

Since most game designed for pvp lack anything else of value besides pvp when you remove the pvp, the game dies. Thats a given.

The question should be asked, why do a >>>> LOT <<<< of people want pvp removed?

I would argue that in almost every case it was because the pvp was poorly implemented in a way that gave one player or group and enjoyable game experience ONLY when another person or group had an extremely un-enjoyable game experience which caused a >>>> LOT <<<< of people to be unhappy with it and instead of attempting to fix the real underlying issues (I'm guessing griefing, unbalanced pvp, excessive punishment for loss, harrasment pvp, etc) they simply remove it all together.

The question then is what kind of pvp experience will PFO offer?

CEO, Goblinworks

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I think they want PvP removed because they want a game that plays JUST LIKE the game they're playing, without the PvP. They don't think the game has any lack of value. They just don't understand the extrinsic and intrinsic motivators that make the part of the game they like work.


Ryan Dancey wrote:

A >>>> LOT <<<< of people who play MMOs with PvP would prefer that there be no PvP. They THINK that the game would be great of they just didn't have to worry about the PvP anymore.

When those requests are catered to, there is a virtual certainty that the result is catastrophe. The resulting PvP-less game loses the vital driving forces that made everything NOT PvP interesting.

One example I can think of where there are both established PvP and PvE servers is Wurm Online. The PvE servers are basically a rat race to carve out your section of land, pay to have it protected, and then work and do labor for people to gain the money ingame to purchase the subscription fee/land fees. If you save up enough money you can buy essentially a cash faucet. Its a grief filled incredibly hostile place, requiring constant mod supervision to keep the toddlers from screaming.

The PvP servers on the other hand have economic flow, land availability, and the ability to resolve disputes. If you want to keep yourself relatively safe from unwanted PvP, make decisions to do so - choose safer areas, have good relationships with other players, take safeguarding precautions. As such, you'll likely see an unwanted PvP scenario less than once a month... but the threat of if is exciting (if terrifying) and enriches the entire experience. It also gives a means of absolute conflict resolution. However, groups are stronger than individuals, so those who play nice with others will win over those who don't, and things work out great.

Edit For Importance: PvP eliminates non-combat griefing by providing conflict resolution. It also creates the opportunity for combat related griefing, but PFO is actively working to make PvP meaningful and does not tolerate griefing.

I would expect that in PFO unwanted PvP will happen more often than once every month for most players uninterested in PvP. For those willing to work hard to avoid it, however, that may become the case.

How many people want a super safe place to play, where they're not at risk of unwanted PvP? A lot of them. And they'll work hard to make places like that with the systems in place. There will be some drawbacks for that - imagine a huge settlement where nearly every peripheral structure improves security, instead of resources or other things - but those places will still appear. In a place made safe from PvP by expenditure of great effort, PvP still enhances the experience of those avoiding it: "This is my home! We all work hard to keep it safe!" I would also expect that many players would go "Hey, if I take small risk A, I can get small benefit B." Occasionally they'll encounter PvP, and it may suck, but going on to avoid/be successful against it will add depth to their experience.

Goblin Squad Member

Waffleyone,

Well said. As I commented in my TS discussion with Bluddwolf, Greedalox, and Dario last evening, one of the most important benefits of open PvP is the element of risk, which results in a marvelous product - our needing one another.

Goblin Squad Member

I question where the information is coming from that proves that a lot of people do not want pvp in PFO?

The game has been advertised as a Sand Box MMO with Open World PvP. L owing that up front, thousands of people contributed money I to the kick starters ( both of them) and that on some cases represents people who bought guild packs (x6) or Buddy Packs (x2).

Bottom line, many many people want this game to be as advertised, Open World PvP, and apparently more than those who want it to be exclusively PvE.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Bluddwolf wrote:
The game has been advertised as a Sand Box MMO with Open World PvP. L owing that up front, thousands of people contributed money I to the kick starters ( both of them) and that on some cases represents people who bought guild packs (x6) or Buddy Packs (x2).

Unfortunately, not everyone might have fully read and understood that premise. They might just have wanted a computer version of their tabletop Pathfinder game (and some probably backed the Kickstarters primarily to *get* neat stuff for their tabletop Pathfinder game), or maybe they didn't back the Kickstarter but are interested in an MMO version of Pathfinder (not necessarily this version of it), as this forum is hosted on the Paizo site.

Personally, I'm hoping most of the focus in the game will be on the "meaningful human interaction" Ryan mentions, which does not necessarily mean *JUST* PvP all the time. At least, not "combat PvP" (market, diplomacy, etc. interaction and thus PvP usually have a slower pace).

I do understand those people averse to PvP as well, though. I've slipped back into playing EVE Online, and I personally don't have problems with it. But I play it rather casually, non-AFK (which can get boring at times -- especially mining a large-ish amount), and somewhat risk-averse (don't fly anything you cannot afford to replace, etc). And I read enough blogs to know what to look out for. Like this one by a fellow called Psychotic Monk: Belligerent Undesirables ... read through some of the posts and see what kind of gameplay is totally acceptable in EVE. (As a sidenote, how do we feel about character names in PFO? Psychotic Monk acceptable? ... maybe spin that to another thread though).

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:

I question where the information is coming from that proves that a lot of people do not want pvp in PFO?

The game has been advertised as a Sand Box MMO with Open World PvP. L owing that up front, thousands of people contributed money I to the kick starters ( both of them) and that on some cases represents people who bought guild packs (x6) or Buddy Packs (x2).

Bottom line, many many people want this game to be as advertised, Open World PvP, and apparently more than those who want it to be exclusively PvE.

Look at what counts for PFO:

1) The design leads to an exceptionally fun and longevity
2) This basis allows the game to grow steadily YOY.
3) It won't be for everyone, but those that do take to it, will love it (ie under-served market finds a game with little to no competition).
4) As it's mmo, these players drawn to it, enhance the community and social aspects of the gameplay to make them work better with the computer-side stuff.

So there will be people (due to the size of interest) who don't like PvP at all - ever, don't like PvP in other MMO games from experience and heresay, PnP players who probably are very social people who have a strong conviction the IP they are invested in could be using these resources that GW has acquired, to avoid a PvP game that brings in a much more anti-social crowd of people (very strong danger of this), and for a pathfinder game with online capabilities that aligns more with the PnP game eg VTT? And so on...

No matter how well Ryan has been able to communicate the logic, history and market desicions that help form the game design for PFO, eg even why make an "MMO-RPG" in the first place all the way through to lower level questions why have this particular pvp flag; there will still be opposition expressed, and triply so in the mmorpg genre where people have had devs promise wonderful virtual worlds which turn out to rail-road, limited interaction, sub-social boxed in areas online.

On the PnP side: Sociability of characters interacting highly in a group does not seem to come across in mmorpgs, the improvisation of the GM tailoring each stage in the adventure seems to best come across in NWN, Baldur's Gate than a MMO and even then much less so, the combat of mmorpgs is frankly dead tired, I read somewhere: "It's FPS masquerading as tactical rpg." Not exactly true but what a put down, like the back-end and head have been swapped on some drawing of an animal... and this is to say all stages of the adventure in a mmorpg are combat progression and not alternative solutions to solving interesting problems of social, IC moral, meeting interesting characters, doing alternative things like setting up a business, having knock-on effects for taking certain actions.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

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My take on this: I normally hate PvP, mostly because the people that engage in it remind me of 5 YO's playing King of the Mountain on some kindergarten playground - it is done just to "prove" that person is "better" than others.

In PfO, PvP has meaning (those who don't PvP for a valid in-game reason will eventually be booted out of the game for griefing). It is designed to allow player conflict, thus building story content; not unlike Wars, Settlement disputes and even PvE Escalations. This isn't theme=park PvP, where it is just about boosting the ego of, usually, young gamers who think that is the point of the game - to be "the best" and to "win". There is no winning in PfO from that standpoint, because there is no end-game. Given the proposed gentle curve between a new character and one who has been around for years, it also negates a reason for non-story-driven PvP. a throw-away character isn't going to be able to grief people, since they will be using the down the road F2P in most cases, meaning they will not be training. Lack of skill training, past a few potentially "free" ones Stephen mentioned, and any character able to train will soon outpace them.

PfO needs PvP in order to be a living, persistent game. Will you always need to PvP? Heck no. But the risk is always there. Most PnP versions of RPG's, such as Pathfinder usually skip over rival adventurers, but they do exist, especially on Official Worlds, like Oerth, Abeir-Toril, and Golarion. The other players ARE those other, usually unseen adventurers, and in many cases their goals will differ from yours, up to and including having the opposite goals. Conflict will arise, and make for a better story, and since actions in PfO are persistent (they effect the world as a whole), this leads to a better and more immersive game.

Just my take on this, and why a dedicated PvP "hater" is sold on PvP in PfO.

Goblin Squad Member

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Alephtau wrote:
I absolutely detest PVP.

Under normal circumstances, I'd completely agree with you.

I really hate PvP, if just for the sole fact that I suck at it, but if I'm guessing correctly of which MMO you're talking about, the PvP focus was one of the biggest reason that I hated and left that game, too.

However, while I'm still not at all a fan of PvP, I'm holding onto a final until I actually get my hands on the game and try it out. PFO is handling PvP slightly differently.

In that other game, a player's level and the gear they equip create an unfathomable distance between them and a player that may be slightly lower level and not as well equipped. For the one player that's higher leveled with the better gear, there's not a doubt in the world that he's going to steamroll the other guy and not even break a sweat.

In PFO, a player's "power level" is apparently going to be relatively consistent. Even a player that may not be the highest leveled and the best geared can still contribute to the combat, so the disparity between players isn't as profound. You'll be much better equipped to defend yourself in the event of an attack and PvP will hopefully be more rewarding, especially to those that may not have been all that good at PvP in the other game.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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Gloreindl wrote:

PfO needs PvP in order to be a living, persistent game. Will you always need to PvP? Heck no. But the risk is always there. Most PnP versions of RPG's, such as Pathfinder usually skip over rival adventurers, but they do exist, especially on Official Worlds, like Oerth, Abeir-Toril, and Golarion. The other players ARE those other, usually unseen adventurers, and in many cases their goals will differ from yours, up to and including having the opposite goals. Conflict will arise, and make for a better story, and since actions in PfO are persistent (they effect the world as a whole), this leads to a better and more immersive game.

Just my take on this, and why a dedicated PvP "hater" is sold on PvP in PfO.

The Golarion version: Rival Guide

Goblin Squad Member

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Imho the main reason why many people think that a game would be better without PvP is that many people want to feel in MMOs like in a movie or in a single player game - they want to be the king, the focus of the whole.

This is normally impossible in an MMO and PvP most drastically demonstrates this to these players.

So what these players usually mean is that they wish that PvP would be there but they would always win.

Add to this that in most games PvP had no cause but was rather another tacked on feature and it is understandable that many peopel think they could live without. But an MMO without PvP will either be a themepark and thus fail to out-WoW WoW or not be a MMO at all because it severely restricts player interaction.

About DAoC:

Spoiler:
DAoC has been used as an example for PvP with a cause (= Realm vesus Realm - raid towers and relics) and thus is widely considered one of the best PvP experiences in fantasy MMOs so far.

After a while Mythic introduced a PvP Server by popular demand where there was no "save zone" and it wasn't a spectacular success because the game was not build to be open PvP. They also introduced a PvE Server and this too was not a great success (but moreso than the PvP Server) because, this also ment that the game was robbed of it's most defining part. In the end the only servers that survived where the ones that ran under the "nomal" RvR ruleset.

So if you want a real MMO with no (non-consensual) PvP, you are pretty much stuck with WoW or one of it's clones because in a sandbox this is likely never gonna work.

Goblin Squad Member

It will be interesting in PFO to see how the war mechanics will work. How much labor and time will it take to build a settlement? How much time and effort will it take to build an army? How much time and effort will it take to destroy a settlement? How much reward is there going to be, for destroying a settlement?

I think the more likely SvS conflict will be involved with hindering each other's growth rather than actual conquest, which will be an uncommon and perhaps epic event. This would be a good thing IMO.

If the potential to lose everything is still there, but rare, the PVE crowd will perhaps grow accustomed to pushing that fear out of sight, but still keep it in the back of their minds.

Goblin Squad Member

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Without conflict, the game becomes a giant chat system. With only PvE conflict, the game is only challenging until someone finds the best strategy for defeating the most dangerous mob/boss/dungeon...then it's honed to science and repeated until the players become bored and look for another game with new challenges.

No matter how well designed, the best AI cannot match the unpredictability of a real person as your adversary. You may detest each other in-character, but as players, the best adversary will be the one who values and respects you as their adversary as much as you value and respect them. We need to think of one another as fellow actors and storytellers in a larger tale, the quality of which can only be fully realized through our cooperation as players.

Goblin Squad Member

@MicMan: I think the balance is the key: Skill ∝ Challenge in a fair well-matched contest (ie there may be a skill in choosing your fights) or in terms of variable and random factors influencing a combat engagement of any kind of scenario: "Being able to make the most of what you can with what you are up against and this overall skill improving with continued game experience."

-

-snip- The point I was aiming at, is war should be a huge undertaking and not the trivial practice to kick-off it often is in many games. It will be interesting to see how GW's decides to handle it: I can see the strategy layer coming in in terms of the quality the army is in when it reaches it's battle grounds or settlements to siege. I'd expect these to be fairly long and involved. Perhaps Battles less than Sieges but nonetheless, if quality and supply lines for an army are linked to eg units being able to raise certain properties and sustain them... /ball in GW's court.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Hobs, very well put! +1

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:
...The point I was aiming at, is war should be a huge undertaking and not the trivial practice to kick-off it often is in many games...

QFT!

This is actually what makes me a bit wary about threading. While I certainly appreciate the fact that it makes the game less cut throat it also has the potential to make war efforts trivial.

I guess GoWo will counter this by requiring, for instance, extremely expensive siege engines for attacking settlements in order to bring back choice into war (should I risk loosing a lot of assets by attacking - will I gain more than I loose - is this worth it).

About PvP:
I love good PvP and I never play games without it because battling the AI is only good for learning the game. But I hate useless, boring repetitive PvP (aka arenas) in an MMO because if I want arena battling I play a MOBA or a RTS game. PFO will have meaningfull PvP (you risk loosing things, the face of the world can be changed by large scale PvP) and this is great.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hobs the Short wrote:
No matter how well designed, the best AI cannot match the unpredictability of a real person as your adversary. You may detest each other in-character, but as players, the best adversary will be the one who values and respects you as their adversary as much as you value and respect them. We need to think of one another as fellow actors and storytellers in a larger tale, the quality of which can only be fully realized through our cooperation as players.

Don't be silly. "Real people" are just NPCs that you have, at best, a 50-50 chance to defeat 1-on-1. PvP is, by definition, poorly designed PvE. :p

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

That's my biggest problem with PvP. The AI is just way too random. And if does these weird annoying circle-dances when you're trying to fight.

Goblin Squad Member

Slaunyeh,

Note that I said, "unpredictable," not always better than you. The challenge comes from not knowing how your opponent will react, who they know that might now be after you to help seek revenge for your actions, from possible bounties, assassination, etc. Add to it that AI controlled mobs don't have long memories that might come back to haunt you weeks or months or years after your bad behavior occurred. On the flip side, unpredictable might also mean that the person you try to PvP won't fight back, and after being killed, returns to ask why you did that.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hobs the Short wrote:
On the flip side, unpredictable might also mean that the person you try to PvP won't fight back, and after being killed, returns to ask why you did that.

*Gets killed. Makes a disposable alt named "Ghost of <character>". Returns to haunt killer over and over again* OoOoOooooOO Why did you kill me? OoOoOoO

=P

Goblin Squad Member

Disposable alt, pft. I'll be doing it myself. I would have already lost anything unthreaded and death is otherwise pretty meaningless. Besides, starters towns would likely be too far from where I was killed. I want to get right back there and start the conversation. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, but that's not as funny.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hobs the Short wrote:

Slaunyeh,

Note that I said, "unpredictable," not always better than you. The challenge comes from not knowing how your opponent will react, who they know that might now be after you to help seek revenge for your actions, from possible bounties, assassination, etc. Add to it that AI controlled mobs don't have long memories that might come back to haunt you weeks or months or years after your bad behavior occurred. On the flip side, unpredictable might also mean that the person you try to PvP won't fight back, and after being killed, returns to ask why you did that.

My experience with PvP is that I am going to die whether I fight back or not. Ignoring the attacker will just make it pass faster so I can get back to what I was doing.

I like NPCs. They aren't vindictive. They don't take sadistic pleasure in my misfortune. And they are generally designed to not be an insurmountable challenge to defeat.

Goblin Squad Member

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Aaaanyway. All this was already covered repeatedly in other threads and, like PvP, I don't really care enough to put in that much effort again. :)

Goblin Squad Member

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If you hide in ambush, while watching/waiting, in pvp players do lots of interesting actions. AI just stands there. The virtual world is more interesting when players are around imo. Got to add a 'bow to' emote for pvp. Mocking or respectful, it's a good interaction before and after a fight.


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To anyone who has concerns about PvP in an MMORPG, I would suggest that you keep an open mind. If you've had unpleasant experiences with other games in this area, perhaps it's because those other games did A HORRIBLE JOB AT IMPLEMENTING PVP. And that your displeasure actually derives from terrible game design, and not the nature of PvP itself.

Have you ever played a multiplayer FPS game and said to yourself "I wish my team was fighting against AI because getting shot by other people isn't fun"? Maybe you have, but for the 99.99% of everyone who plays those games, the answer is no. The game is designed around competing against the human opponent, and that's where the fun derives from. How many times have people played de_dust in CS? Hundreds? Thousands? It has an infinite replayability because playing with and against humans is more compelling than against AI or PvE. If in that game, you shot enemy AI, would anyone have played it as much?

Don't think of PFO as a PvE MMO that has PvP, because it's a completely wrong way to view the game. If you took away all the things that were PvP driven, what would be left? I guess resource gathering and settlement building... so something that resembles a minecraft type MMO.

You can't always understand and MMO by mapping it to ones you have played. Having played WoW doesn't mean anything in terms of understanding what PFO is and how you play it, and what your goals will be in game. Having played on a PvP server in another game doesn't describe what that term means for PFO. It's like trying to learn a language by translating everything word for word into your native language. That translation doesn't always sound right or make sense. Some things simply can't be translated. And in that regard, the assumption of disliking PvP in PFO is based off a very poor translation of what you may have known PvP to be in other games.

If nothing else, I hope this post makes you think that just maybe PvP can be done A LOT better than it has been done in the past. And PvP that is done right might be worth playing.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

clynx wrote:
Have you ever played a multiplayer FPS game and said to yourself "I wish my team was fighting against AI because getting shot by other people isn't fun"? Maybe you have, but for the 99.99% of everyone who plays those games, the answer is no. The game is designed around competing against the human opponent, and that's where the fun derives from.

This is why I don't play multiplayer FPS games. Now Left 4 Dead 2 was pretty fun for the cooperative games. That's fun.

Goblin Squad Member

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Generally I do not like PvP. What I want is an open world where things happen and grow.

If I toss a fireball in the party everybody gets burned. If somebody kills for no reason there should be consequences.

I will be very interested to see what happens in pathfinder. If I don't like it then I will not play.

It looks to be an interesting system so far. A lot of thought seems to be going into the design. Perhaps I'll enjoy a game that is built around pvp versus a pve game with pvp slapped on top.

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