Friday, September 26, 2008

"Look Mama, isn't that what they once called PvE?"

The year? 2015. The place? The Museum of Gaming.

Wilhelm over at Ancient Gaming Noob has a write up about what I have referred to in the past as a "Set Group".
Tipa and Stargrace also have this with their Nostalgia guild.
Basically the group has a select set of characters that adventure together, level together on a set day and or time.
This is an awesome concept.
I have tried this several times with success in the past, but lately, not so much.
Thanks to the wife I always have a set partner in game though.

But, this is not about grouping.

In the post Wilhelm states...
"But this Saturday night will be the first real test.

Will Warhammer be a move towards the PvP world of which I wrote just over a year ago?

Will our group find Warhammer fulfilling not only initially, but over the longer term?

Will battles stay fresh?

Will the progression be worthwhile?

Will we stay enthusiastic?

Will the vagaries of PvP challenges fit within our time budget?

And will PvP make for good copy when it comes to the Thursday instance kill group summary post?"

Studying on this reminded me of a discussion I have had before.
In his comments I state...
"maybe PvP is the game everyone has always wanted."

As I go over each of the various sites from my RSS lament of yesterday, those that are discussing WAR, I finally realized what was missing.

Great stories of awesome encounters.

Again, Wilhelm in the same article..
"There is certainly no promise of smooth PvE progression, no new dungeon to crawl every Saturday night, no guided tour of the lands. This is no slick amusement park experience. This is no Azeroth."

And I heard the chimes. The tolling of the bell.
PvE may be history in the MMO world.

And it would make sense.

Warhammer brings about a gaming experience for those playing and the focus of the game does not need a true story.

The story or lore is secondary.

Tobold also commented on this earlier this month...
"One problem with lore is that MMORPGs play on persistent worlds. Persistent not only in the sense that the world is still around when you log off; but also in the sense that monsters respawn, and five minutes after you rescueing the damsel in distress she'll be in captivity again and waiting for the next hero to free her. Many quest texts aren't exactly great fantasy literature. And even the best told story quest lines suffer from often being set up in a way that you are doing parts of them in between a dozen other quests, and by the time you get to the next part of the quest chain you don't remember the previous part any more"

He names two examples.
LOTRO and AoC.
And based on their sales or success, we can assume that the story and lore are really secondary.

The popularity of WoW is based on raids, end game, and as of late...PvP.
WAR, RvR and PvP.

LOTRO is PvE, EQ2 is PvE...

Tabula Rasa launches with a weak consensual PvP system. Where is the game now?
Tabla Rasa is not a sucky game, but due to the thought of an underlying story, the overall game suffers. It does not help it tried to copy WoW mechanics and put them in space.
Of course there are other issues with each of the above games, but their main focus is PvE.
AoC will try to lie to you and tell you it is PvP, but why focus on such a major player experience in the way they have. Why create awesome voice overs and great cutscenes for people who will hit 1, 1, 1 to bypass these excellent sequences?

They over reached. Should have focused on the PvP if they wanted it.

Same with LOTRO. You hear very few running around lauding the awesome PvMP. It was not the games focus. Many a lorist will yell at you for it.

Story is not important anymore for the player. The experience of the game itself is the key.
Stories may have to be relegated to the single player experience where it allows changes to your world. The persistence of the world stays intact.

My comment on Wilhelms blog sums this up overall...
"Will all future MMO’s believe that there is more money in PvP, competitive gameplay, and will just blow off PvE."

I think so...do you?

5 comments:

ardwulfslair said...

Of MMOs with a budget comparable to WAR's - quite possibly. At the very least, we are unlikely to see another AAA title that doesn't care much about PvP.

brenda said...

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that PvP in MMOs is broadly popular. Most competitive PvPers play FPS and RTS games -- by a huge margin.

Openedge1 said...

@brenda
Yet, so much evidence in the MMO genre is pointing toward a more PvP oriented gaming atmosphere.

AoC's first sales were HUGE compared to the middling sales of LOTRO. (in one month AoC sold twice as many copies according to NPD compared to LOTRO's sales for a whole year)

Marketing?

Maybe..

But, once people found out how broken the PvP was, did they stick around?

I tend to agree with Ardwulf.

AAA titles may be looked at more suspiciously...

I think it is much easier to create a PvP centric title now, as no focus needs to enter into development of how to present a more story oriented mechanic.
How hard is it to make another "Kill 10 boars" quest?

Less time spent deciding how to present a more innovative feature, less dollars needed to whip out the same gaming experience, equals more bucks in the developers pocket.

And as long as people buy it, hey more will be coming...

Stargrace said...

Biased here, obviously since I play EQ2 and VG which are heavily PvE orientated games - though I did actually enjoy WoW and the pvp aspect there because that's not ALL there was to do.

I think companies are missing out on a huge market of players when they concentrate only on pvp (the same can be said for only PvE too I realize). The funny thing about WAR coming out was when I listened to who was leaving EQ2 to go play it - there was only a very very small handful, it didn't affect the game barely at all. People who were interested in PvP were already playing other games.

Openedge1 said...

I can take or leave PvP myself.
But, overall sales really are telling.
I remember writing about how the Asian market is more in line to play a PvP based game..
Yet, they are worried more on how their characters look and aesthetics....go figure.
Weird.

But, we keep sending the signal that story is not important.
Visual quality is not important (sorry, but WAR is just an ugly game overall).

Look at the big sales games...

Sims? How much story we have there?
And what will WoTLK for WoW bring us...with their new PvP systems..
And outdated graphics...

How will that sell?

I do believe a market exists for the PvE crowd, but no game can quite grasp how to do it well, and then instead of trying to fix that, they will go the easy route, throw in some PvP, and be done.

Next year we will see the release of Aion. This is another game which has a deep storyline, but is focused on a 3 way factional PvP system.
They call it PvPvE game.
I will probably talk about that game a little more very soon.
But, it is not high on anyone's radar...yet has EVERYTHING people could want.
Crafting (detailed crafting) PvP, factions, and a deep story.

Ah well, will ramble on about that game soon.

For now...Thanks for posting.