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Why Are All "Sandboxy PVP Included" MMOs not meeting expectations, excecpt(MAYBE) one?

goldenradish
Bringslite of Staalgard
… Now if their "area of control" or territories could be safeguarded against random PVP, I feel that a larger slice of anti PVP players might be persuaded to try it and even come to like PfO. That sort of thing(if it came about) would have to be pretty clearly communicated, but if it was and they could grasp it beyond the plain "there is PVP in this game I'm looking at" It might be a winner.
Agreed. Indirect PvP, filtered PvP, any kind of meaningful & competitive player interaction that isn't "make the HP bar zero" would go a long way. Yet, the GW team has had years and this isn't the plan. The new plan is to keep following the original failed plan and expecting a different result. smile

Paddy Fitzpatrick
But…This game in particular is not a no holds barred ffa pvp game. It is far from perfect and the quality may not be the best I have seen. Still, there are definitely limitations both mechanically and regarding ToS here. This ain't full open looting, this ain't a kill or be killed gank fest, and they are adding more ways to mitigate open ffa pvp stuff this month.
Respectfully, today, in PFO this is exactly what the game is. When I appear in the world, if I step 30m away from the guards, I can immediately be killed and fully looted. FFA PVP. Anywhere in the world that I'm not within 30m of a guard, this is true. FFA PVP. It's a basic design goal that has been met.

From here: https://goblinworks.com/blog/early-enrollment-2-release-notes/ (from Jan 22 2015, with no changes at least until Apr 26, 2017)
" This release includes a major feature - player character husks. This feature introduces the element of looting from dead characters to the game. From this point forward you risk losing some or all of the contents of your inventory if your character dies. The extent of your losses will be related to how quickly you are able to return to the site of your Husk and if you are able to recover the inventory that remains on the Husk before others are able to take all of its contents or its timer expires.

When you receive Coin as loot from defeating monsters it is an inventory item and is subject to being destroyed or looted. "

If inclined, my attacker can do this forever, over and over. Even at my respawn location. There are no in-game mechanics to prevents this. There are no guards at respawn locations. It's Ryan Dancey's "Eve with swords" come true, but far less safe for the victims. As long as it's true, PFO will be a niche game with insufficient subscribers to cover costs, never mind make a profit. All other mechanics, features, and implementation details are meaningless in light of this current FFA PVP reality. How many more years of proof do you need? smile
Flari-Merchant
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Bringslite of Staalgard
Midnight
I'm amused that some folks think the problem is with PvP. I can only name one profitable sandbox MMO, and that's Eve Online.

Does anyone want to list the profitable sandbox MMOs that I'm missing?
I feel like the problem INCLUDES PVP systems. Or rather the PVP systems are part of the problem… Though I had not considered SWG and had not played it.

I disagree. It depends on several things:

1) How well the combat in PvP is implemented
2) Setting expectations on what kind of PvP should players expect
3) Having the mechanics line up with those expectations

For example, a faction vs faction type PvP game has clear expectations. You fight alongside yours, you kill all of the other ones, and ya have good mechanics to make the fights fun and fair. Any PvP game that can do these three things will be good to go.

One criticism I have of certain posts in the thread arguing PvP in games is a problem in of itself is that they have mostly been strawman arguments. They have been based on stereotypes of both PvPers and non PvPers alike (mainly all PvPers are toxic wolves and all non PvPers are victims and sheep). The arguments have also been made based on one specific type of PvP system (basically the hardcore full loot gank fest free for all) while ignoring the variety of others that exist. These over generalizations are not helpful. I will also say, coming back to expectations, that if the expectations of PvP are clearly communicated and the mechanics are implemented to make then a reality, then frankly players should know what to expect going in. I don't always like what happens to me and I have definitely got salty about things at times and that's understandable, but I know what I am getting into when I do something in this or any other sandbox.

You can say that. Where is your successful Fantasy Sandbox Game? Yes, all sorts of things are factors in the success of games. Quite a complex mix, I am sure.
The mechanics of PVP, the set of the expectations, and finished mechanics(as far as PVP goes) did not help much in this game or any other, as far as I can see. Meaning: That stuff doesn't help INTEREST, bring in, and keep many PVP leery players.

PVP, itself, is not the problem.

The twin factors of not being able to control Random PVP and the Expectation That Players Should(if they do not like it) control RPK with their own characters and game time are the problems. The first is a serious turn off when looking for a Fantasy Sandbox for many players. The second is a VERY UNREALISTIC expectation that game devs have always figured was both doable(by players) and "easy" to implement.

One thing that you are right about(IMO) Paddy, is that this game has remarkably low or NO griefing right now. Well that is because it is a complete Ghost Town as far as MMOs go.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Flari-Merchant
goldenradish
Respectfully, today, in PFO this is exactly what the game is. When I appear in the world, if I step 30m away from the guards, I can immediately be killed and fully looted. FFA PVP. Anywhere in the world that I'm not within 30m of a guard, this is true. FFA PVP. It's a basic design goal that has been met.

^^^This is what a large part of the MMO pie seeking a fantasy sandbox see and believe.^^^ And well, honestly, right now it is TRUE. You do not see it happening right now because the pop is very low. We have a great community, but even when we pretty much ALL banded together to "punish" outbreaks of plain old random PVP(you know when and who) we were still just a small population that was a great community.

Add 10,000 new players. The community will be completely different.

Edit: I should add that personally, I am all for random PVP. I am not campaigning for myself here. There is an added… "flavor" to a game that has some random PVP. I Likes My Risks while I seeks My Rewards.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Fiery
I would note that, while mechanically there is nothing to prevent it currently (not to say there won't be - there were talks of that), shrine-camping someone is in fact considered griefing by the GW team and is presumably a punishable/bannable offense should proper evidence be presented. So don't do it.

Also, Full-Loot, as generally accepted by the community, is a loot system that includes dropping all, or close to it, of your equipped gear, not just what's in your inventory. This game is not full-loot.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
@Bringslite

Well, IMO I hardly think the PvP mechanical in this game are remotely close to ready for primetime, though I think some of the new changes will hopefully address some of the gaps between what the intents are vs. how the game actually plays.

I think another thing that has been mentioned is how PvP ties into other systems. Most of your ability to PvP is going to be dependent on getting achievements through PvE, crafting or having someone gather and craft gear, and eventually support which is dependent on holdings and bulk.

Are those activities fun and engaging enough to keep both PvE and PvP folks in?

Well, PvE for me is a resounding no. There are sandbox games I like with decent PvE, this has a ways to go before it gets to that point. Crafting well, that is debatable. I don't like the crafting system in PFO but others do. Support, well, sadly maintaining support requires doing even more of the least fun activity in this game right now which is hauling bulk. With the population as a ghost town there is no risk (which more open pvp and actual banditry mechanics would bring btw) so there is not much to do besides a very VERY long and slow walk.

So that is the fourth item I would add, how well it integrates with other systems. As I said before once the systems work better with each other then I think we will see what kind of game this could be.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of the Kathalpas Coalition and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Flari-Merchant
Paddy Fitzpatrick
@Bringslite

Well, IMO I hardly think the PvP mechanical in this game are remotely close to ready for primetime, though I think some of the new changes will hopefully address some of the gaps between what the intents are vs. how the game actually plays.

I think another thing that has been mentioned is how PvP ties into other systems. Most of your ability to PvP is going to be dependent on getting achievements through PvE, crafting or having someone gather and craft gear, and eventually support which is dependent on holdings and bulk.

Are those activities fun and engaging enough to keep both PvE and PvP folks in?

Well, PvE for me is a resounding no. There are sandbox games I like with decent PvE, this has a ways to go before it gets to that point. Crafting well, that is debatable. I don't like the crafting system in PFO but others do. Support, well, sadly maintaining support requires doing even more of the least fun activity in this game right now which is hauling bulk. With the population as a ghost town there is no risk (which more open pvp and actual banditry mechanics would bring btw) so there is not much to do besides a very VERY long and slow walk.

So that is the fourth item I would add, how well it integrates with other systems. As I said before once the systems work better with each other then I think we will see what kind of game this could be.

Oh I completely agree that PfO needs better "stuff" in many, many categories. Also that whatever PVP system a game has, it isn't THE COMPLETE ANSWER. Nothing that I am writing here was/is intended to drive PVP enthusiasts away.

Giving some more options to non PVP players might help a little bit on that end of the whole yardstick. You know, push the measure up a few more inches into the anti PVP but acceptable range…
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Decius
Bringslite of Staalgard
So would you guys claim that "success" for hard core PVP games goes to those that cater fully to PVP enthusiasts, with minor population exceptions, and that limited player servers are also part of that?

Not really what I was talking about, but they do refute my claims that almost ALL are struggling. Albion Online isn't technically out yet. I have no idea about Rust. That one seems like a jazzed up FPS to me…
AO is more released than PFO. It's selling subscriptions and currency and has a referrals system.

Rust is very similar to an FPS, which makes large population impossible. Diverse servers make all the balance questions easy: "how much room per player do we need? What should drop rates be?" and similar questions all are answered by "server configurable".
Stilachio Thrax
SWG had the best balance between PVE and PVP, as well as giving you options to "opt in" or not to PVP. Generally you had to voluntarily flag yourself for PVP, but the catch was that certain activities required you to be flagged or could get you flagged (ie. killing stormtroopers would flag you). And if you wanted to be a Jedi, player bounty hunters could always attack you.

When they went to the NGE, they did make some changes to the flagging system, but you could always flag yourself for PVP, anytime, anywhere, and they had ground battlezones for open PVP and Deep Space was always open PVP for starfighter pilots. It wasn't as good as the pre-NGE system, but it still was better than most PVP systems I've played in.
Virtus et Honor

Steward of Ozem's Vigil, Lord Commander of the Argyraspides Iomedais
Edam
Bringslite of Staalgard
Midnight
I'm amused that some folks think the problem is with PvP. I can only name one profitable sandbox MMO, and that's Eve Online.

Does anyone want to list the profitable sandbox MMOs that I'm missing?
I feel like the problem INCLUDES PVP systems. Or rather the PVP systems are part of the problem… Though I had not considered SWG and had not played it.

MMO Players
Midnight
The first thing PFO has right about PvP is that it is rarely gamebreaking to be killed in the game. The lack of equipped gear falling, and the fact that a bag can only hold about 45 minutes of mats from gathering means that most times the *real* harm of dying is inconsequential.

However, the emotional effect it had on early players was completely outsized to the actual losses sustained. While I know that attracting so many Pathfinder Table Top players (where their biggest organization forbids PvP) is part of the problem, I'm not entirely sure if the next 10,000 MMO players will handle their PvP deaths any better.

If the next 10,000 players are logical people, the game will be fine. If not, I'm not sure what the devs can do about it.

The second thing PFO might be doing right about PvP (if we assume most MMO players aren't PvP enthusiasts) is that companies and settlements have so much PvE grinding to do to stay competitive, that it is extremely limiting to a group's ability to PvP others. I can't tell you how many times I and my mates felt we had to PvE when many of us had no interest in it.

Of course, keeping PvP enthusiasts busy grinding PvE means the PvPers are more likely to jump to a game that is less PvE grindy, and when they leave, the gameplay that actually occurs becomes no different than a sandbox where PvP is forbidden.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
 
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