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

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.


  1. I understand your point 100% But I would argue that theme parks with open pvp enjoy a bit higher diffuclulty. I different sense of danger in them. I don’t PK randomly. Though I hate playing anywhere without PvP. WoW is my example, but it carries across to other games. In WoW the open world game is absurdly easy. Its designed for 6 and 60 year olds or people who have never played with this style of controls in a video game before (and its only gotten easier as it matured). The only chance of death is at the hands of other players. Gathering mats in a known hot spot for them instills a sense of danger. Doing the Sons of Hodir dailies on a PvP server was a lot of fun because both sides needed to be there. Acting to protect yourself, and your materials is the most fun part of it to others and to myself. Though having real PvP objectives alongside the PvE content is nice, its not required.

  2. The most obvious problem with your post is that you’re arguing that Open World is pointless in a theme park MMO and then gushing about Guild Wars 2 open PvP. Guild Wars 2 is a theme park MMO!

    Second, Tera’s Open World PvP especially GvG wars, is tied to Tera’s Political System, so yes, it’s extremely relevant to Tera’s endgame.

    Lastly, Guild War 2’s PvP is completely sectioned off from it’s PvE, making it even LESS relevant then Tera’s PvP, which all takes place in the same world.

  3. @FactChecker Im “gushing” about GW2’s World vs World vs World system, not the PvE portion of the game. Your third point also contradicts your first point. You know that the PvE part of the game is separate from its PvP, so why point out that GW2 is a themepark MMO when the part I was obviously referring to is not?

    Lastly, I stated “when the only way to progress is PvE, it sort of makes PvP pointless, at least until endgame.” So your second point about TERA political system is correct, but that’s endgame. My article was talking about how open pvp until endgame was pointless, at least in TERA’s case.

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