30 March 2012
| | Mike
It always surprises me when I see a MMO player calling PvP a “niche” feature or meant only for hardcore players. What planet are they living on?
Online-multiplayer games that are PvP exclusive are some of the largest, best-selling games in the world. While the MMO genre seems to have fallen head-over-heals for PvE, mainly thanks to World of Warcraft’s run-away success, the rest of the gaming world prefers PvP.
The examples are many, but I’ll list a few of the largest PvP games over the last decade.
- League of Legends
- Call of Duty Series & COD: Modern Warfare series
- Battlefield series
- World of Tanks
- Starcraft series
- Counter-Strike series
- Warcraft series
- Halo series
- Team Fortress series
While most of the listed games above are FPS or RTS, MOBA are exploding right now and they’re all PvP. You can also include any sports or racing game as well as their online component is PvP as well, just without the death part. The only non-MMO game that was mainly PvE and came close in terms of popularity to the titles listed above, that I can remember, was Diablo and Diablo 2. Can you name another?
So why is there always so much push back against PvP in the MMO genre? There is obviously a huge divide between those players that enjoy single-player games and those that enjoy online games, but it seems for the MMO genre, the single-player crowd has taken over for the last decade or so, leaving MMO games in some weird anti-PvP time-warp.
However with games like Guild Wars 2, TERA, PlanetSide 2, Dust 514, Firefall and others on the horizon, it seems PvP is coming back and in a big way. I for one couldn’t be happier as I’m just downright sick of PvE.
29 March 2012
| | Mike
Huge news out of THQ Inc. today as they announced that the Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium MMORPG is no more and is being turned into a single-player game with online multiplayer features.
President and CEO of THQ, Brian Farrell, has this to say about the the change,
As previously announced, we have been actively looking for a business partner for the game as an MMO. However, based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features. Because we believe strongly in the high-quality and vast creative work that is in production, this is the right decision for both our portfolio and for gamers devoted to this powerful property.
Due to this shift, THQ will be laying off 128 employees, 79 at Vigil Games and another 39 at Relic Entertainment.
28 March 2012
| | Mike
I think not. However according to Tobold, he believes sometime in the future a player will commit suicide in direct response to cyber-bullying in-game, which will lead to a lawsuit and the slow demise of open PvP, because it will be too risky for game companies to allow it.
Tobold’s initial statement reads,
People will continue to play free-for-all PvP games which encourage bad behavior. Cyber-bullying will continue. At some point some bullied player will actually commit suicide, leave a letter explaining why, and his relatives will file a lawsuit. Between legislators thinking that bashing video games is always good politics, and courts thinking that there is no difference whatsoever between cyber-bullying in a game and cyber-bullying via other online platforms, we will end up with laws against game-related cyber-bullying.
Free-for-all PvP will die or at least be driven far underground into games nobody plays
This statement is fundamentally flawed and should read as is, “Cyber-bullying will continue.” There is absolutely no connection between PvP games and cyber-bullying that can’t be said about any other social media. Put any large group of people together and someone will bully someone else. I don’t care if it’s in a game, in school, Facebook, message board, sports or online chat. There will always be bullying and if it leads to suicide, there are already laws in place, at least in the US, to deal with it. End of story.
There is no possibly way that the government should, or would, make special additional laws for PvP games. They’re basically chat rooms; how could any gaming company possibly monitor hundreds of thousands of players at the same time chatting or talking via voice-chat? It’s not even possible. There is also an issue of privacy if a company had to do this. The suggestion that a law like this could pass specifically against PvP games is absolutely ludicrous.
Tobold, I normally agree with you, but you can’t be wronger on this one, I don’t care how dumb politicians get.
27 March 2012
| | Mike
When entering into a virtual world, one has certain expectations about what their journey through it will be. For me, one of those expectations is that the world is open ended, allowing me to travel where ever I want, whenever I want. However, I don’t believe I’ve ever played a MMORPG that has allowed me to do this realistically.
Today’s MMORPGs seem to place the player on a well defined path, lined with NPCs pointing the way from start to end. Over the last few years, this has become more apparent with entire zones dedicated to certain levels, as the players travels in a linear line from zone to zone.
This becomes no more clearer than in BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, who’s zones are entire planets. SWTOR allows the player to access any planet, but to no purpose, as any player not meeting the level requirements, or at least close to them, will find they are unable to do anything on that planet by themselves. In the other direction, once you out-level a planet, there’s almost no reason to ever return to it.
This linear system is not unique to SWTOR, as most MMORPGs today follow the same system. Shouldn’t zones have more of a mix in terms of the level players are within them? Why are developers so keen on trying to keep players separated based on level?
This brings me back to my days playing single-player games like Metroid and Zelda, where you would learn a new skill or ability, then travel back to old locations. You’d remember there was an area you couldn’t access before, but now with your new ability you can. This sort of system is lost in today’s MMORPG. Players follow a linear path up to the level-cap, then once there, they’re left with only a few zones to game in as everything else is way beneath them.
16 March 2012
| | Mike
According to an industry insider, Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios are currently developing a MMORPG based on the Elder Scroll series, which will be announced in May of 2012.
The source also stated that the MMO will take place a millennium before Skyrim, during the Second Era, which is a few hundred years before any of the Elder Scroll games. The game will have three playable factions, each being represented by an animal.
Not much is known about the factions, except each is represented by one of three animals: A lion, a dragon, and a bird of prey (either a phoenix or an eagle, we aren’t sure).
It’s been known for some time that ZeniMax and Bethesda have been working on an MMO, due to job postings on the ZeniMax website, and through court papers all the way back in Jan 2010, when Bethesda and Interplay were in a legal dispute.
As recent as Sept 2011, Bethesda Game Director and Executive Producer, Todd Howard, came out against turning Elder Scrolls into a MMO; but it now seems this was only done to throw people off the trail. If this leak turns out to be true, that means at the very minimum, they’ve been working on this for over two years.
Bethesda and ZeniMax currently have not commented on this leak.
9 March 2012
| | Mike
The 2012 Game Developers Conference (GDC) is in its last day, and as it winds down, we take a look back. While GDC generally isn’t a big conference in terms of MMO games, there was plenty of game previews, and some big announcement made this year.
Below we have a full run-down of all the MMO gaming news revealed at GDC 2012. Any news that is released today will be added to the list later.
- Dark Legends beta within 2 months
- Tribes: Ascend release date is April 12th
- DUST 514 beta beings in April
- World of Darkness is not “on hold”. A team of 60 devs are working on it
- Repopulation expands alpha testing to the public in June
7 March 2012
| | Mike
Why is it that when you join a PvE server, there’s mostly no PvP, but it doesn’t work the other way around? Shouldn’t PvP servers be just that, PvP only? So why is it that when you join a PvP server, you still spend the vast majority of time on PvE activities?
It seems since the birth of MMORPGs, developers quickly learned that not everyone likes PvP, so they created separate servers and a mechanism to turn off PvP. However for those like me, who hate the PvE grind, there’s no PvP only servers, which begs the question of whether developers just think there isn’t enough demand for it or that they know their PvP systems are so weak, that the game couldn’t possibly survive without the PvE system.
My guess is the latter. I don’t think it would be difficult for developers to work in a system where they could turn off all quests to create PvP only servers; I think they don’t do it because for the most part their PvP systems are horrible. If PvP was the main attraction, developers would actually have to spend the time creating an engaging and complex PvP system, instead of the control-point merry-go-round most MMORPGs use today.
While I do consider myself a PvP player, all quests don’t necessarily need to be turned off, just the mindless ones. Raids and difficult groups quests would be fine and it would actually be exciting when you find a quest giver. Instead of 5000 boring quests, there would be 50 or so challenging ones that would be fun to complete and exciting for the player when they find one.
What do you guys think? Should their be three server types, PvP, PvE and PvE/PvP? And how come we haven’t see PvP only servers yet?
5 March 2012
| | Mike
Starting tomorrow, active SWTOR players will be able to invite up to three friends to join them along their journey; as long as that journey is on one of the four origin planets. Players who are invited will have a 7-day free trial; however, that will be restricted to the four starter planets.
Was there a meeting I missed or something? Because I could have sworn that it was decided that limited free trials suck, and limited-limited free trials suck even more.
With SWTOR being one of the fastest leveling MMORPG’s to date, if you played along with a friend, who is presumably level 20 or higher, wouldn’t you fly though the starter planet in, oh I don’t know, a few hours? Why in the world would I need 7 days, when I could probably complete it in one?
Just another lesson for Bioware to learn, and I’m sure we’ll see the unlimited to level 20 free-trial in a few months. Once they realize their mistake.