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Default Elder Scrolls Online - On Cyrodiil and World PvP

May 25th, 2013, 06:36
MMORPG.com has wrote a short article discussing some of the design choices forThe Elder Scrolls Online. The article also covers the upsides and downsides of the game's PvP combat.
On one hand, Iím very excited about the prospect of key members of the Dark Age of Camelot team designing Elder Scrolls Online Cyrodiil ďAlliance vs. AllianceĒ warfare. On the other, Iím a little confused as to why the team has made an active decision to keep PVP out of the rest of the world, and more than that… opposing factions wonít even be able to see each other when theyíre in each otherís PVE content areas (see the ZAM interview linked at the bottom of this article, from Matt Firor himself). So in this weekís column, Iím going to briefly touch on the good and bad parts of this decision, and what it could mean for the elder game of an online Tamriel.


As I said above, Iím pretty excited that a lot of the folks who once worked on Dark Age of Camelotís RvR are heading up the team working on Elder Scrolls Online AvA. Brian Wheeler was one of the ingredients that made the magic happen in DAOC. He was also part of the WAR team, but we canít put that gameís failings on one manís shoulders, so weíll just sidestep it and chalk it up as a learning process. At least we know ESO will have three factions as opposed to the inherently broken two.
More information.
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May 25th, 2013, 06:36
They need to get away from the open workspace model and start locking developers in storage closets aka "offices" like they used to. These guys all talk a lot of smack and they're very animated while they do it. I think that must come from socializing too much. It definitely shows up in the final product where the gameplay is nowhere near as cool as all their BSing implies. They need to get out of eachother's personal space and get back in their own minds, where they belong. Although it's at least entertaining watching Maria Aliprando do it, mainly because it seems so impossible she could be a programmer.

Anyway, DAoC and WAR design for PvP is great. That's made me more enthusiastic about this game than anything else. That's the one thing Mythic was always really good at, and it makes a big difference.
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May 25th, 2013, 11:58
I could care less about PvP in MMORPGs. It's always crap. DAoC was probably the best and even it wasn't that great - started ok but then when they added RA/RP they turned it into an epeen fest of crap.

TES has always been about amazing PvE content. Why even do PvP at all? Oh yeah, it's an MMORPG law that all new MMORPGs have to attempt to appeal to everyone, even people who don't care about PvE or MMORPGs and who want to play quake with spells and swords.

Sigh.

TESO is shooting for a very complicated PvP thing that looks sort of like GW2's WvW with more complexity, which means it probably won't be fully finished at launch, will never be balanced, and will have all kinds of problems forever. Just what the MMO version of one of the best PvE game series ever needs.
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May 25th, 2013, 22:23
Nothing works - getting human beings to play together amicably (or in PvP not) in MMOs is one of the great unsolved problems of life, akin to what consciousness is or why there is something rather than nothing.
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May 26th, 2013, 02:57
Guild Wars 2 did a great job of forcing PvE to be Coop. No PKs, no Steal Kills, no Loot steals, just to name a few improvements.

I never play PvP, though I was forced to …'err …participate' in WvW. Not sure what else to call it, since I had to run around trying to get map points for 100% world complete, while getting ganked.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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May 26th, 2013, 11:00
My first real experience with open world PvP other than some of the simpleton games that were on early "social networks" was with Meridian 59. It pissed me off a lot. For every 1 time there was a good fight like vs some jackasses trying to take over your guild hall, there were 10 times you got popped in the back of the head while you were doing something else such as standing in the middle of town and dicking around with emotes. Next was UO and in the beta I PKed the hell out of everyone. I was pretty good at it. The only reason I was doing it was to demonstrate how broke it was so they'd fix it before release. They didn't. So I stopped playing that game. Then EQ came out. No PvP. Played it and loved it, anyway. Then DAoC. That was the first time I saw how PvP was supposed to be. But the devs had a nasty habit of breaking it on purpose, and then fixing it by adding to it, and then breaking it on purpose again. I guess they thought that was interesting but I found it frustrating. The MMO industry exploded after that. WoW on PvP servers had pretty good PvP in my opinion, but not as good as the RvR in DAoC. Same with AoC. Decent PvP but nothing spectacular. Warhammer had good PvP. Not as good as DAoC, which is weird since the same people made it, but it was pretty good. I had a lot of fun with it, and had a few spectacularly exciting fights that just happened at random while I was doing other things. The PvP adds a lot to MMOs and I know from personal experience with Lord of the Rings Online that I get bored with online games that don't have PvP, no matter how good they are with the PvE. I don't think I'm alone on that. Anyway, if they're going to have PvP in Elder Scrolls online then it's good that they've got people who've got experience with doing it right on the case
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May 26th, 2013, 11:16
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
Nothing works - getting human beings to play together amicably (or in PvP not) in MMOs is one of the great unsolved problems of life, akin to what consciousness is or why there is something rather than nothing.
I don't agree. Everquest had that mastered pretty well. That's the only MMO I ever played where people actually formed real friendships, where being in a guild was a social experience that mattered, where people would go out of their way even if they had to spend and hour or two traveling to help a friend, where they'd stay up all night and lose levels to help their friends or even just their guildies recover from a bad planes run, etc. That's the way it was for the first year, at least. The industry seems to have collectively decided to go a different direction. Starting about when DAoC came out, actually. DAoC was a much better game in a lot of ways, but it was also a much more casual game and a much more "socializing is optional" game. And once WoW shipped and attracted a playerbase that was mostly fuckwits and obnoxious kids, it was pretty much "game over" for any sort of meaningful community-based online gaming. What you say can't be done with MMOs actually was done, very early. And then all the devs decided they never wanted to do it again.
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May 26th, 2013, 11:59
PvP can work very well.

If you hate PvP - it won't work no matter what you do.

As for ESO and PvP - I will remain very sceptical until I see it in action. I don't like how you can't see each other in non-PvP areas. That's just not a good solution at all.

Most mainstream MMOs are terrified of implementing PvP with meaning and consequences - and it's hard to blame them. But without meaning and consequences - I don't think it will ever be THAT interesting. Certainly not to me.

It seems most developers want the primary PvP gameplay to funtion like a sports match - with even teams and balanced maps.

That has nothing to do with war - and it will never feel like war. It will feel like a game within a game - and that's not my cup of tea.
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May 26th, 2013, 12:08
Oh please… We had the same fellowship in WoW, where people did everything you describe. Some of my friends today are from the days we played WoW together, and then some - from abroad - I talk to in a weekly basis; this is after having stopped playing for years now. Then we had the same in SW:TOR, though on a smaller scale.

It depends on the people you play with, not the game. There might be trends stemming from the general target audience of a certain MMO, like WoW (today, but not at the beginning) drawing younger and more casual people, but eventually it all comes down to the community you are in.

That said, I am not into PvP in MMOs at all, I always found it to be somewhat of a distraction, but it does satiate a certain huge crowd. Odd, since in other games (like, shooters) I love a good deathmatch, but in MMORPGs I look for cooperation and teamwork.
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May 26th, 2013, 20:19
DArtagnan, you make some good points.

Soulbane,

We had the same fellowship in WoW, where people did everything you describe…

Right.

It depends on the people you play with, not the game.

My experience with Wow is that 99% of the people spent 99% of their time playing with themselves.

There might be trends stemming from the general target audience of a certain MMO, like WoW (today, but not at the beginning) drawing younger and more casual people, but eventually it all comes down to the community you are in.


I find this claim odd, since I started with WoW the day it was released and stopped playing it a few months later. You agree with what I said, but then deny it was an issue while I was playing it? How am I supposed to feel about that?

…but in MMORPGs I look for cooperation and teamwork.

Everything you said in your comment was about WoW. First question: is that how you'd describe WoW? Cooperation and teamwork? Second question: How much experience do you have with other MMOs? Specifically, Everquest (original), since I think most people are agreed that game set the high water mark for cooperation and teamwork.
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May 29th, 2013, 21:45
I don't know what to say. You had bad experiences, so everyone else's experience must be bad? I don't think so.

WoW for me had its lows and hights, but especially in the beginning, when there was tremendous activity on my RP server, people formed communities that were interested in RPing (in a serious fashion), and guilds were there for their members. That is, in most cases. My guild was special in a sense that it was primarily made up of people I have already known in real life (friends and friends of friends), so we could count on each other. But I saw and took part in activities that others initiated, and for a long while it was all and well.

WoW was my first MMO, and since then I tried my hand at a few (most notably Age of Conan and SW:TOR). I don't see how me not having played a specific MMO would discredit my view and my own experience in other MMOs. I'm glad you and so many others felt EQ was the pinnacle of teamwork, but that does not mean other games never had them, and only had jerks.
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May 29th, 2013, 22:31
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
I don't agree…
Happy those early days when we shined in our angel infancy… Devs can't go back to Everquest and Vanilla WoW expecting players to behave in the same way they did then. That was a totally different time and space when MMOs were new and exciting and the people who played them were pioneers and hadn't developed the cynical XP/gear chasing competitive play that has emerged over the last decade. The community is really very different now than it was then and the ideal of cooperative gameplay: Tolkien's fellowship of the Ring, is but a distant memory. There's no way back.
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May 30th, 2013, 07:58
Oh, there's always a way back to things that work.

You just need content that has enough quality and core gameplay that's fun enough. Beyond that, you need a design that's consistent and which holds everything together - but you don't need super accessibility or pushover content.

You could take any mainstream design of today and double the accessibility and casual nature.

Take GW2 - for example. Let's say you halved the time it took to level and you made every encounter twice as easy.

Sounds terrible right? People would hate it, right?

Yeah, they would - for a while. Then it would become the new standard that "revolutionised" MMO design.

Because people take the path of least resistance. That's just what we do.

But only when it's there.

So, when you make a new game - focus on quality and gameplay - and you'll get away with a path of least resistance that's much harder to traverse.

It's not accessibility and pushover content people are looking for. It's quality. That's what we're missing, really. Most new MMOs just don't provide that in sufficient quantities. Developers are busy following investor/suit orders - and copying and cloning smashes of yesteryear.

They're always behind the times.

It takes a visionary with a heart to progress the genre - and not an investor who couldn't design PacMan if he tried.
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May 30th, 2013, 13:31
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Take GW2 - for example. Let's say you halved the time it took to level and you made every encounter twice as easy.

Sounds terrible right? People would hate it, right?

Yeah, they would - for a while. Then it would become the new standard that "revolutionised" MMO design.

Because people take the path of least resistance. That's just what we do.

But only when it's there.
I'm not sure if the "only when it's there" is correct. I see plenty of people asking in map chat where the "zerg" is all the time (in both PvE and WvW) in GW2. WoW was made easier to be more friendly over time. I'm sure we can find plenty of other example all around.

Only the self-called "hardcore" players cry over games being easy and boring. They also make the claim that good games should be hard, yet the mass is happy with their easy content and keep buying games regardless…
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May 30th, 2013, 13:35
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I'm not sure if the "only when it's there" is correct. I see plenty of people asking in map chat where the "zerg" is all the time (in both PvE and WvW) in GW2. WoW was made easier to be more friendly over time. I'm sure we can find plenty of other example all around.
Obviously it's correct. If it's not there - you can't take it.

Only the self-called "hardcore" players cry over games being easy and boring. They also make the claim that good games should be hard, yet the mass is happy with their easy content and keep buying games regardlessÖ
Sounds like a load of generalising bullshit to me.
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May 30th, 2013, 17:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Sounds like a load of generalising bullshit to me.
That is actually based on observations of players chats, discussions with current players of games I'm currently playing or played.

You can keep believing that the players in games you don't play want harder content when they are currently crying for content nerf in the official forums of their games if you want.
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May 30th, 2013, 17:53
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
That is actually based on observations of players chats, discussions with current players of games I'm currently playing or played.

You can keep believing that the players in games you don't play want harder content when they are currently crying for content nerf in the official forums of their games if you want.
Oh, that's hard evidence then. Certainly much more valid than my own experience with MMOs and the players I've encountered since before Ultima Online.

I've played pretty much all established MMOs - and one thing I've learned is that we all want different things in different ways. But the one constant is the desire for quality content.

If you really think you can convince anyone by generalising like that - I suggest you go somewhere with people that have no experience with reality
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May 30th, 2013, 18:50
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I've played pretty much all established MMOs - and one thing I've learned is that we all want different things in different ways. But the one constant is the desire for quality content.
My disagreement is over people using the path of least resistance simply because it exist and that removing it (i.e. making the game harder) would mean the game have an higher grade of quality. I do not disagree that people want quality (although, quality is a personal perspective).

From experience, most MMO players just want to make "money". They don't really care what they have to do as long as they get rich fast.
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May 30th, 2013, 18:55
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
My disagreement is over people using the path of least resistance simply because it exist and that removing it (i.e. making the game harder) would mean the game have an higher grade of quality. I do not disagree that people want quality (although, quality is a personal perspective).
Except I never said removing the path of least resistance would make for a better game. I said people would accept it if the game is good enough.

Besides, it's not about making the game hard - it's about making the player invest himself - instead of closing his eyes and pushing through content without a care in the world.

As for the result, it would simply be a different game - not necessarily better or worse. I would probably like it more - but again, it would depend on the quality of the content and the core gameplay.

From experience, most MMO players just want to make "money". They don't really care what they have to do as long as they get rich fast.
I'm not sure what that means. In my experience - there's a large variety of players wanting a large variety of things in their games. Most of them don't actually know what they want - they just think they do.
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