I Don’t Get It: Open PvP and Theme-park MMORPGs

Posted by on April 23, 2012 - 3 Comments »

Sometimes I just don’t understand why things are the way they are. Today, after a bit of playing through the TERA open beta, I came to the realization that I just don’t understand why a theme-park game like this would even bother with allowing open PvP. Not that I don’t enjoy PvP, because I do, but when the only way to progress is PvE, it sort of makes PvP pointless, at least until endgame.

The only real reason to participate in open PvP, for theme-park games, is to basically make the lives of other players worse. You’re not defending any land or property and you’re not attacking any either, plus there’s no looting, so really there’s no reason to kill anyone.  Open PvP is built for sandbox games because they incorporate other systems around PvP to make it meaningful, but theme-parks do not. So when you incorporate this system in a theme-park game, its basically just developers trying to grab at the PvP market and expand their player base.

Now, I haven’t gotten past level 20 in TERA’s closed or open beta, so I don’t know how the end game will be, but I can tell you right now, most players are ignoring open PvP and concentrating on PvE to level up and rightly so. Why spend any time PvPing when it gets you no where?

This is why it’s so refreshing to see what ArenaNet is doing with Guild Wars 2 and creating an open PvP world where all your actions directly effect the world. You’re not killing other players for the hell of it or to ruin their day, your doing it to win the war.

To have a successful open PvP system, the game mechanics really need to be build around it, supporting it and giving meaning to PKing.  Theme-parks by definition are the exact opposite and cannot, and will never create an engaging open PvP system regardless of what developers or publishers say. Open PvP and theme-parks just don’t work together.