Tobold's Blog
Saturday, May 08, 2010
 
So just how big is the hardcore PvP market?

Today ends "PvP week" on Tobold's MMORPG blog, a week that showed among other things that you don't even need to log into your favorite game to do PvP, any blog site will do! But thanks to some commenters I also learned something really interesting about the number of players who actually do play PvP in EVE: According to CCP themselves, in numbers published in their Quarterly Economic Newsletter from Q4 2009, 88.7% of characters are in empire space, and only 11.3% of players are in PvP nullsec space. With nullsec having more star systems than empire space, the population density in empire space is actually 20 times higher than in nullsec! Furthermore in a previous newletter CCP said that half of their players had never ever left highsec. Oh, and 95% of EVE players are male, go figure.

Why is that so interesting? Because if you don't consider population distribution, EVE is actually an oddity: A successful hardcore PvP game. Scott Jennings chronicled the long history of PvP game failures on MMORPG.com from Shadowbane going belly up to today in a series of three posts. Recent news told about Fallen Earth reducing staff from 110 to 35, including kicking out 28 core game developers, which doesn't look as if they were all that successful. Darkfall stagnated all year, and even with the $1 trial still only has under 22k players on both servers together. Mortal Online missed it's end of March release date, and then missed it's end of April release date as well. Early previews say that Mortal Online is exactly like Darkfall, only with better graphics, which combined with general desire of people to try out the new stuff might well end up "ganking" Darkfall into shutting down. But I doubt MO will ever get even 50,000 players.

So how do some "PvP games" like EVE get to 330,000 players and keep growing over years? Well, the same way Ultima Online still survives: By introducing Trammel. Or having high sec space in the game from the start. Players *are* willing to play in harsh PvP environments, as long as they get an option to opt out of it. And when they get that option, at any given moment 80% to 90% of players will populate the safe part of the the game, and only 10% to 20% of players will be in the dangerous PvP part. Suddenly those 330,000 EVE players turn out to be only 50,000 PvP players, unless of course you want to count everybody who ever went into unsafe space as a PvP player.

So 50,000 is about the most even a really good hardcore PvP game can hope to achieve. If you want to get into the hundreds of thousands of players, you need to do like EVE, UO, WAR, or AoC, and add extensive PvE parts to your game in which the players are reasonably safe (Or move to Asia). Even the fiercest warrior wants to relax in peace once in a while, or even most of the time.
Comments:
I think the thing with EVE is that "PvP" means more than just "shooting at another player." Its really "player driven" that is the key more than "PvP" per se. Truth be told, I generally avoided actual fighting with other players in EVE. I was an industrialist, and part of a middle sized industrial corporation that focused on building, among other things, capital ships. However, and here is the most important part, everything I did in the game wouldn't have been possible without that over arching structure of a player driven world. Our place in the game world would have been totally meaningless without, for instance, ships being lost regularly (to PvE, or PvP, though no one brings capital ships to PvE), without players needing big ships to be the backbones of large fleets to defend space they owned.

The "hardcore PvP market" mostly plays shooters, or in some cases RTS. The beauty of EVE is that its so much more than just that. When people talk about the PvP in EVE, I think they are talking about more that ships shooting at each other, but the overarching framework of a MMO in which players are running more of the show. The natural competition AND cooperation between players as they make their way in the EVE universe is something that is rarely seen in any other MMO, and while sometimes that gets summed up as "because its a PvP MMO" thats actually a gross oversimplification.
 
You should also note that those 50000 nullsec players generally consider their turf to be safer than highsec. If the enemy was not stopped by the patrols, they'll get information about the enemies' ships and location through the intel channels, being able to prepare long before the enemies even enter the system they're in. By contrast, enemies in highsec systems can vanish into the masses and strike with little warning. Especially if they're enemies you didn't know you had.
 
Fallen Earth looks a little out of place in that company, I wasn't aware that it was a hardcore PvP game, or even particularly PvP-focused at all?
 
Possible. I never got past the tutorial in Fallen Earth (and that was back in beta when the tutorial was really bad, I heard it got improved later). I read Fallen Earth was a sandbox game and it had PvP, but maybe the PvP isn't hardcore at all.
 
I don't think Fallen Earth is PVP-centric, but I see what you mean though.

Anyway, why not try out Fallen Earth or Everquest 2 or some other game next week? :) Let us know your plans! :D
 
Let us know your plans!

As I have a recently leveled to 80 paladin in World of Warcraft, I'm planning to play heroics on him for a while. Gearing up is always fun. I had originally planned to also level a druid, but that one got stuck at level 29, and I'm not so sure whether I really want to play him to 80. I was looking into Blizzard's Recruit-A-Friend program, as I never multiboxed before, but haven't made up my mind about that.

I'm still playing EVE, but EVE Offline, skilling up for a Retriever and then the basic skills for flying a battlecruiser efficiently.
 
I believe much of the success of EVE is the ability to create safety where there is none. With cooperation players can secure previously dangerous areas. It isn't perfect, but the mechanics of travel in EVE make it far more possible than if you tried to lock down a zone in WoW, even without flying mounts.

The potential danger is unlimited, but players have the ability to protect themselves to a larger extent from the random ganker. Or at least make it sufficiently unprofitable. I imagine that is appealing to many people.
 
There's a pvp game called Modern Warfare 2 that I heard sold a few copies.

The EvE numbers are a little bit off. You didn't mention lowsec where pvp also takes place and there are CONCORD endorsed wars taking place in highsec all the time. Also many players who live in nullsec have alts in empire for PVE money making or logistics to provide for their nullsec characters. The general premise is correct however, there are more players who never participate in PVP than there are that do. Probably and least twice as many. To be fair that is to be expected in EvE. Not everyone is willing to put their assets on the line.

I think it can be said that multiplayer gaming has been a somewhat recent event anyway. It has been steadily growing however especially since the advent of online gaming on consoles but single player gaming has always been a larger section of the gaming market as a whole. Since pve content emulates single player gaming in the form of soloable content it follows that it would have a larger audience. Fortunately all of these markets are growing so we'll all be getting more products and content no matter what.

I think one element which makes EvE pvp a little more successful than the other examples is something that has at times been called a failing of the game, The lack of a personal human avatar. While many traditional RPG players bemoan the lack of it and eagerly await the ever distant release of Incarna, I would say that the use of the ship as the primary avatar in eve as a stroke of luck for pvp. Since ships are a replaceable and often even disposable resource in EvE the loss is in some ways disassociated and you are always left with your skills and character appearance etc. This arrangement lets players take risks a little more freely than in some other games but still preserves a feeling of risk that we crave so dearly.

As for what you do next, before you leave EvE I'd suggest you give RedVsBlue a try. It's 2 corps which maintain a constant war in empire. Everybody who signs up does it for the pvp so you don't have to worry about ganking or ruining anyone's day. You can join and leave anytime. All they ask is that you join the corp with less people at the time. I know pvp isn't your bag but if you decide to quit give it a try for a couple days and see. Maybe it will extend your interest, maybe it will be the nail in the coffin for your eve experiment. Either way nothing lost and as I found your 0.0 expedition a little lacking I think it would be interesting to see you try something a little more representative of EvE pvp in general.
 
Industry rule: 20/80. Only 20% love PvP, although they are a loud bunch of players so the noise on the internet is misleading.

Thats why Bliz stopped openeing up new PvP servers.

In Asia it is the other way around btw, 80% love PvP, only 20% love PvE.
 
There's a pvp game called Modern Warfare 2 that I heard sold a few copies.

Curiously enough there is no mention at all on the box of Modern Warfare 2 of "PvP". Because that term isn't used outside the narrow world of MMORPGs.

But you are right that somebody actually interested in measuring his skill against other players is more likely to buy a game like Modern Warfare 2 or Counterstrike or Team Fortress 2 than he is to buy a MMORPG. The persistent world and constant character advancement of MMORPGs which are an advantage for PvE, are actually a disadvantage for PvP. And Modern Warfare 2 doesn't require a monthly subscription fee.
 
Well Fallen Earth might have PvP, but it's not "hardcore" in the sense that you have no "opt-out" option things like full-looting. It's like saying Stranglethorn Vale in WoW is "hardcore" . FE's setup is much more like Warhammer's , except the PvE part is actually better than the PvP part.

Either way as for the topic itself, i'd say there's a pivot point between Hardcore PvP in an MMO and then FPS-shooter PvP in a Lobby-type of multiplayer game.

The market on the multiplayer side is -huge- and there's clear signs of them borrowing from each other:

1. MW2/Battlefield all got RANKS and UNLOCKS and CLASSES which is pretty much PERSISTENT. The -world- might not be persistent but your character progression sure is. I'd say those games are an "open persistent ZONE" away from an MMO.

Imagine doing WoW-Arena+Battlegrouns and progressing your character and doing the odd PvE Raid inbetween....i think that's exactly what people do in WoW !

2. On the MMO end, you now starting to see the likes of Global Agenda , APB , The Agency and possible PLANETSIDE 2 ? [we're still waiting to see what the countdown on their website is about..tik tock tick tock] all throwing in more persistent elements like crafting,auction houses and zones that persist in some form [ownership of it mostly] .

So somewhere someone is going to get it juuuust right, giving you a Battlefield experience while STILL allowing you go PvE against Terrorist AI , or capture entire zones or pick up loot from enemies.........

I'd even be willing to say the Hardcore PvP market is huge, but they're NOT being catered for in the MMO market. MMOs have their "core" design based on some form of "grind" which i am certain is an element even MMO'ers constantly complain about that incidentally does NOT exist in MW2/BC2 .
 
Not only are Blizzard (in the EU) not opening new PvP realms, but they are converting PvP realms into PvE ones.
 
Theirs an interesting little genre thats been forming for a few years.

Some call it MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena).

It started with DotA (Defensse of the Ancients) and similar custom maps for Warcraft 3, and new games in such as Heroes of Newerth, Demigod, and League of Legends have been released, of which League of Legends is my favorite.

For those who haven't played it, League of Legends is a free to play 3v3 or 5v5 PvP game. It takes place from an isometric perspective, and is positive sum PvP that emphasizes teamwork.

In each game, you the player, or Summoner, will choose one of 50 classes or heroes to play in that particular game. A game lasts 20 to 40 minutes on average.

The hero you select begins the game at level 1, and you will engage in PvE and PvP to level up your hero and collect gold to buy items. It is a struggle for resources as you try to outplay and outfarm your opponents and use superior strategy to defeat them and eventually destroy their base to win.

It's a very fun and addictive format, and League of Legends is extremely fun and polished, and has added a unique advancement outside of matches in with your Summoner (you) levels up and unlocks talent points like WoW, gaining XP for each match whether you win or lose.

Some 'hardcore' PvP'ers complain that LoL is caters too much to carebears or casuals even though it is a game focused on PvP.

On the other hand I think it's nice that a hardcore PvP'er like my brother and a NON-PvP'er like my wife can both hit level cap and enjoy the game.

I don't enjoy WoW PVP so when I want a shorter teamwork based PvP experience I find myself playing alot of LoL, and it's easy for friends to drop in or out of play sessions, since you can make premades.

If anyone wants to add me to their friends list my handle is LordZode.

I'll be happy to teach anyone to play. If you are new and sign up for an account using my referral link it can unlock 'fluff' like extra skins for characters for me.

https://signup.leagueoflegends.com?ref=4b4f2bd6d798c

The game is free to make an account and play. Their is a boxed version in stores for around $30 as well that comes with a bunch of freebies. They have an RMT store which is one of the best implemented I've seen, offering no gameplay advantages - these are strictly unlocked by playing - but selling instead skins for heroes, boosts to increase XP gain, etc.

This genre of game is kind of a middleground to me between MMO PvP is more strategic rather then twitchy like a Modern Warfare or what have you.
 
"The persistent world and constant character advancement of MMORPGs which are an advantage for PvE, are actually a disadvantage for PvP."

No, they're not. That's like saying because Dragon Age has a much better story and graphics and battle engine than Wow has, the persistent world must be a disadvantage for pve.

Arena-pvp (which Modern Warfare 2 is) is something totally different than open world pvp (Planetside, UO, Eve). You can't play similar pvp in arena-pvp that you can play in an open world pvp.

You could either stop making statements like these that make absolutely no sense if you know what you are talking about, or - here's a novel idea - you could find out what are the differences between counterstrike-style pvp games and sandbox-style pvp games and reasons why someone might prefer to play the latter even if he doesn't like the other. Believe me, people like that really exist, and no, they're not "bullies" or "griefers".

Or maybe you don't want to learn about different styles of mmo games and you're just trolling again?
 
If "Fallen Earth" is a "hardcore PvP game" then so is EQ, EQ2, WoW, LotRO, AO and , well, pretty much every MMO I've ever played.

Somehow FE managed to acquire a PvP image before it released, but as anyone that's actually played it will attest, the game it most ressembles is pre-NGE SWG. If FE is hardcore about anything it's probably crafting.

In the months I played the Help channel was filled day after day with new players asking "where's the PvP?" Most people never found it. It takes place only in clearly announced areas, none of which are needed for PvE, although there are some benefits to PvE players if they do go in - the scavenging is good there. I went into PvP areas many times and never once saw any PvP take place.

I'm not playing FE at the moment but from what I understand all the new PvP content is entirely consensual and/or in discrete, avoidable areas. Overall it's much less "hardcore" than playing WoW on a PvP server.
 
Neuromanse, last warning! If your only argument is "Tobold is a troll" and "you don't know what you are talking about", you're not welcome here and your comments will be deleted.

Has it never occurred to you that somebody can completely understand free-for-all sandbox PvP and A) not like it and B) realize that 95% of MMORPG players don't like it either? Free-for-all PvP is the death knell for a MMORPG, unless it offers enough PvE and safe space like EVE's highsec.
 
Well, if you really think that "the persistent world and constant character advancement of MMORPGs which are an advantage for PvE, are actually a disadvantage for PvP", why don't you go to some sandbox pvp game forums and ask people in there: "Why are you playing this game, there are a lot better pvp games like modern warfare 2 that you could be playing which don't have persistent world not constant character advancement [actually it has, but let's skip that for the moment] which are clearly just a disadgantage for a proper pvp, haven't you guys heard about them as you're still playing an inferior game?"

...and see what kind of answers you might receive? I'm sure most people would think that you're just a troll (sorry for using that word again, I hope you let it pass this time, I wasn't calling you a troll) but you might get some replies from people who describe you the differences between sandbox pvp games and closed, arena-style pvp games, how they are different genres just like Dragon Age and Wow are in different genres and you can't really say that one genre is better than the other and you might learn what a persistent world and character advancement really _bring_ to a pvp game instead of being a disadvantage to it. That is, if you're willing to learn.
 
Free-for-all PvP is the death knell for a MMORPG, unless it offers enough PvE and safe space like EVE's highsec.

I'm really not so sure that this is the case. When I play EVE I always wonder how people can actually stand that GUI? The (mostly) boring fights, the many many mouseclicks you need to perform a simple action.

I grow tired while playing EVE just from handling the GUI and it's not like I'm not used to non-perfect GUIs, having played text based RPGs and VGA graphics play-by-email games.

The only explanation I have for EVEs relative success actually is the persistence of its world. The indirect interaction of players, just like the AH in WOW, actually makes a difference even if most players don't actually take part in the PvP itself!

So looking at myself (which is obviously a very subjective judgment:), I have to say that there are so many things in EVE that I don't like; the persitence and credibility and immersion of the virtual world are almost the only things left that make me log in.

So, if some company released EVE online with WoW style GUI and 'gameplay flow', I am convinced that it would be a crowded place.

PvP in MMOs already is extremely unfair on a player vs player basis. And still most WoW players also do BGs and/or arena. I just don't think that it's the (unfair) PvP that keeps the majority of players from playing games. I thing it is the overall quality of the game.

For, let's face it, Darkfall, EVE etc. They just aren't high quality polished games. If they succeed at all then because the underlying idea is grand. There's no other explanation I can think of.
 
Actually, if I read some of your comments, it almost seems as if we even agree on this, Tobold. The high-sec in EVE is important. Definitely.
 
Yes and no. Certainly if Eve was all nulsec, it would be a disaster, just as UO was. But I think Eve is successful not because it allows its players to entirely avoid PVP, but that it allows them to intelligently manage risk in PVP areas.

While not every account may regularly venture into lowsec or nulsec space, and fewer still live there, everyone is affected by their presence and virtually nobody is calling for their removal.
 
@nils The only explanation I have for EVEs relative success actually is the persistence of its world. The indirect interaction of players, just like the AH in WOW, actually makes a difference even if most players don't actually take part in the PvP itself!

Yes, that's it exactly.

Completely fair cop on the UI btw, it's terrible.
 
Calling someone a troll on their own blog is the most disrespectful and illogical thing I can think of.

If you feel that Tobold's comments are disingenuous and trying to provoke a response that upsets you, why do you visit his blog?

You are in essence trolling yourself if you feel that way.

Many of us appreciate Tobold's THOUGHTFUL and MODERATE opinions in an internet full of rhetoric and extremism.
 
Fair comment.

A big part of the fun of Eve is the ability to strategically plan between the safe and the unsafe zones.

Moving stuff around I afk autopilot while watching movies sometimes, at other times it's a white knuckle ride past gate camps, mashing the Jump button while in structure.

I don't think that the population distribution tells the whole story though. The 88.7% includes people in low sec which is every bit as bloody as 0,0. It also includes empire alts who do the shopping and logistics for pvpers or who grind missions to pay for losses. It also includes people who are building or re-building before diving into the maelstrom.

If you surveyed the 88% and asked who here never wants to leave High Sec? the amount of people saying Me would be tiny.
 
"Many of us appreciate Tobold's THOUGHTFUL and MODERATE opinions in an internet full of rhetoric and extremism."

Did you even read my reply? Insulting a group of people and then acting all holier-than-thou is not very thoughtful nor is it moderate in any way. I've described how one can be thoughtful (learn about things before you claim that you have the absolute knowledge already) and how one can be moderate (don't use insulting terms like "griefer" or "bully" when you're talking about people who play pvp mmo games), it's everybody's own decision how and what he wants to write on his blog. You can decide to be thoughtful and moderate, or you could decide to stay ignorant and insult people.
 
You mean I can act thoughtful by agreeing with you. Don't you see that you are only enforcing the image of EVE players being bullies?
 
So you're against "insulting" terms like bully but it's okay to call someone a "troll" and "ignorant"?

You can certainly be in total disagreement with Tobold's opinion on EVE, PvP, or anything else, but I'd certainly argue with your accusation of ignorance.

Tobold is nothing if not well researched and informed of the things he writes about, if you disagree with his opinion so be it, and their has certainly been thoughtful discussion, but you neuromanse are not adding to it.

Take a look in the mirror before you go judging others opinions so harshly.
 
Can we at least try and stick to the topic at hand and stop with the invective. That applies to both sides, please. Chill out, relax and enjoy a civil discussion.


Back to the matter at hand, I think that alot of the problem with EVE and how to classify its
PvP it that the term PvP is more often than not used in the context of combat. When in EVE it is so much more than that. You can participate in activities which put you in direct competition with other players without firing a shot, or even leaving a station.

The term 'player driven' comes close but again doesn't quite capture it. To an extent all PvP (combat and non-combat) is player driven, its player versus player after all.

Until we can find a term to describe PvP that encomapsses non-combat as well as combat activities, we're going to continue to foster misuderstandings about what EVE is actually about.

In my view EVE is truly a 'hardcore PvP' game, even for those players that never see combat. Everything you do in the game affects other players, either to their benefit or detriment. The entire environment boils down to activities which impact other players, to a greater (combat) or lesser (mining) degree. We just need to decide on an appropriate term to describe it so that it isn't automatically assumed to mean combat.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
You can participate in activities which put you in direct competition with other players without firing a shot, or even leaving a station.

This. Economic competition is pervasive in the game; nearly no matter how you make your money it puts you in direct competition with other players, even running missions. Isk received from missions and rat bounties causes inflation; the more people bringing isk into the game there are, the less your own isk is worth. Salvage, loot and LP store items missioners sell on the market cause the prices of those commodities to drop.

I used missions as an example because they are probably the least competitive activity; mining, manufacturing, trading and market manipulation are all much more competitive. Also worthy of note is that although highsec is more safe it isn't in any way a non-pvp zone.

That said, yeah, the "hardcore" pvp segment is a lot smaller than the highsec types.
 
Umm every single "hardcore pvp game" to datee was a bug ridden piece of shit with no pvp and mostly timesinks

Only exception is eve in that in its present state its not so bug ridden (but it was at release) .Frankly I dont understand how eve is successful as imho its core gameplay is boring and is one huge timesinks. Fact that eve is sucessfull to any degree proves that there is a market for
hardcore pvp

Fallen Earth.. - well no idea why you consider its a pvp game. Its a quality pve game imho, with no end game content though. I played it for 4 month and consider time well spent. I heard its also was plagued with problems at release (such as horrible performance).
PvP in FE is horribly broken and unbalanced.- it was never made to be pvp game and it shows .Developers never addressed any shortcomings of FE and no surprise its now dying.

PvP in fact could have saved FE if they acted to actually implement it properly in game.

SO I tell you hardcore "pvp ers" which do not like timesinks (those who like play eve)now play RTS/FPS.

I think hardcore market is 500-1 mill players. But there was no product to date which had a quality design ,eve which desing imho stinks and has merely adequate production quality managed to grab 500k subs. That tells me market is there
 

So looking at myself (which is obviously a very subjective judgment:), I have to say that there are so many things in EVE that I don't like; the persitence and credibility and immersion of the virtual world are almost the only things left that make me log in.

So, if some company released EVE online with WoW style GUI and 'gameplay flow', I am convinced that it would be a crowded place.


This. I mean I like hardcore pvp, I like space games , I like trading, I like one world/one game concept. And yet I dont play eve- It does so many things so horribly wrong.

It has to be more user friendly in terms of UI and timesinks.Combat has to be more engaging. In fact I am pretty sure If someone took WoW and implemented proper Faction warfare it would be huge sucess. Merely because wow got almost all basics right, the only thing it misses is actual immersive non instanced world with meaningful conflict

Eve on the other hand misses almost all the basic thing and only thing it has to offer is the world
 
Eve on the other hand misses almost all the basic thing and only thing it has to offer is the world

Took me some years to understand it. ;) Now I do.

The world is not enough. Sadly, Mr. Bond.
 
Not sure if anyone else has pointed it out in comments too, but many of those pvpers have several accounts, so that 50k is actually a fraction of that of actual players, not accounts. Most people i know that play have at least two accounts and some more.
 
I think someon alrady mentioned this but 0.0 space is by no mean home to all the PvP'rs in EVE.

Ther is a tonne of PvP in lo-sec, but as that counts as 'empire' space lo-sec dwellers are often counted in with the hi-sec 'carebears' when in the majority of cases they are pure PvP players.

So the estimate of most PvP players being in o.o space is wrong, and I would guess it would be by quite a large margin.
 
It look's like your conclusion are based on statistics that don't really consider the difference between #players, # subscriptions, and # characters.

Also, the % of charcters in nul sec is likely a inaccurate measure of the number of players that routinely participate in activities in nul sec.

For example, taking a look at the total character hours in WoW spent in actual raid instance vs the total number of character hours would not give a very accurate account of the % of players that actually raided regularly. Even players that raid regularly don't spend all of their time in raids. Players might have alts that they don't raid on. Additionally Professional players (RMT) may not raid at all for the most part.

Considering that most players have 2 characters per account and that most may have 2 accounts, the statistics you provided could be used to reasonably interpret that most players in EVE routinely participate in nul sec activities. That could imply that as many as 150k+ players currently enjoy EVE's combination of sandbox play, pacing, and setting. And those players, once they get past their initial character development may not really care very much about having a safe harbor or not. For example, in WoW, the number players in cities on a PvP server isn't an indication of the number of players seeking a safe haven from PvP. Maybe they just want to use the AH.

As for the actual size of the hardcore sandbox PvP market, I'm not really sure. I'd guess its a niche genre, but I'm also fairly certain EVE's genre, pacing, and counter-intuitiveness all hamper it's overall appeal.

Another significant factor is the capacity of the game designers to actually provide their prospective player base what they are interested in. For these games in particular it sounds like the devs get too close to their project and lose perspective. For example, in Darkfall it sounds like the dev's catered too well to their (and their forum members) desire to "dominate". That evidently included the idea that long term players would have a substantial advantage over newer players via the training by use system they implemented. Well, now that they have a veteran player base, it sounds like they're having difficulties attracting new player, and that their veteran player base is in many cases opposed to the changes that would allow the game to be sufficiently attractive to new subscribers.
 
I think that is a good assesment of why PVP works as well as it does in EVE. The players can choose their level of risk.

For example, I can run missions, do some casual exploration and maybe even mine if I want to in relative safety in high sec for casual play during the week, but if I have a solid block of time I can waste, I can grab something disposable and have a look around in low sec.
 
If I were trying to establish a successful sandbox PvP game, I would look very seriously at what barriers to entry exist to participation in that game (similar to the analysis Blizzard did for raids), and really work at developing a strategy that would pull in all the people that I believed could eventually enjoy such a game. Then I would work at developing the stages of game play, the ladders, and the incentives to minimize my loss of those players as I acclimated them to the target endgame.
The very first step would be identifying all the players that don't currently play a sandbox PvP MMO that could find such play enjoyable. Once I had that target group, identify game play that 1) can attract them to the game, and which 2) isn't going to interfere with my end goal of getting them to enjoy the sandbox PvP endgame. Then it’s a matter of designing the system of funnels to the subsequent stages of game play in such a way that you minimize overall subscriber loss.
The funneling stages of game play might be unpleasant to the “hardcore” players, but my guess is as long as the endgame was solid and not too far away, the unpleasantness would be tolerated.
 
If almost 90% of the players in Eve do not engage in PvP can you really call it a pvp game? It would seem to be a relatively minor feature if you were to judge by the actions of the player base.

It would appear to be more accurate to call eve some sort of economic / social simulation with a little pvp on the side.
 
The very first step would be identifying all the players that don't currently play a sandbox PvP MMO that could find such play enjoyable. Once I had that target group, identify game play that 1) can attract them to the game, and which 2) isn't going to interfere with my end goal of getting them to enjoy the sandbox PvP endgame. Then it’s a matter of designing the system of funnels to the subsequent stages of game play in such a way that you minimize overall subscriber loss.
The funneling stages of game play might be unpleasant to the “hardcore” players, but my guess is as long as the endgame was solid and not too far away, the unpleasantness would be tolerated.


Exactly right! And no game to date attempted designed pvp in such way. While the pve gameplay is designed in this way , pvp is not

They just slap pvp on top of pve games and wonder why its not successful.

PvP centric game should have entirely different power progression , win and loss rewards. With staged introduction of new players to more complex pvp modes under the guidance of vet players . not the newbies against vet players.
 
"If almost 90% of the players in Eve do not engage in PvP can you really call it a pvp game? It would seem to be a relatively minor feature if you were to judge by the actions of the player base."

Yes, because everything in EVE is PvP as I have stated before. PvP with relation to EVE doesn't simply mean combat.
 
I'd have to agree that PvP is more than combat.

M.U.L.E. is a classic, brilliant PvP game of pure economics and strategy :)

(And brutal market manipulation!)
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Your interpretation of the figures for Eve are once again wrong. The 88.7% of players in empire spaceare primarily Alts or 2nd accounts (note the avg of 2 accounts per player). That figure also includes those in the pvp active low security space that borders them.

Eve Players that PvP in nullsec 0.0 are a rare breed as most don't enjoy their gameplay as much due to it's large corp "blob" style combat with hundreds up to a thousand ships per battle in a system which typically always can't be supported by the server causing lag.

Low security fights by low-sec corps are typically better given fights under a hundred ships, averaging as little as 10-50 most of the time with built-in limits of the space prohibiting warp bubbles at gates (which are only allowed in 0.0 space). These fights are either pvp enabled faction militia players, pirates, or smaller corps not wanting to engage in 0.0 but lured by increased profits and the combat of low-sec.

All players tend to leave a mule type character in Jita or other hi-sec areas to buy and transport materials back to their main character, or help with other things where the security and long travel time to hi-security space would be a problem, much like it being easier having a alt in a main city of WoW makes it easier for using the AH on a regular basis for your main.

Many also supplement their PvP with PvE doing missions or trading as PvP is a money sink for the majority. They'll run level 4 missions in Ravens, or expensive faction ships.

The only way in EvE you can avoid PvP is to stay in your space station and never leave, while never trading and doing market pvp with other players. There are many game mechanics that allow pvp in hi-security, either through the target making a bad judgement call, or the perpetrator trading a significant amount of security rating for isk by betting they can detroy a hi-value target (faction BS, freighter) in a ganking attack before the "cop" npc's arrive disabling their weapons and blowing them up.
 
The one thing I would say about the 08 snapshot is that it was before the latest sovereignty changes which was looking to pull more people into 0.0 and that that 20% figure isn't necessarily static over time. People can and do cycle from one activity to the other.
 
So, Tobold, you just found out that most people prefer easier hobbies than complex ones...

And I thought that millions of people read Dan Brown as opposed to the few thousands who read Milton because Dan Brown is THAT much better.. :)

Mind you, I'm not saying those games are masterpieces but I think you agree that any of the games you mentioned (Fallen Earth should be removed though, WoW has way more hardcore PvP than it) are a bit more complex, or at the very least require a bit more effort, than the PvE fests you're so fond of.

Also, it certainly kills some people to know that the char that just killed them is controlled by someone laughing his ass off in front of a PC...

The only thing you are proving is that most people do want the path of least resistance in order to get the goodies...
 
I think it's pretty safe to say that Eve is not a primarily PvP game. Sorry, running missions and Jita trading do not count as PvP no matter how you look at it.

One could safely say that Eve is a nice mixture of PvP and PvE that allows players to manage a trade-off between the two, according to their own specific taste, and that is why it's more successful than the other pure PvP MMOs.

However I can't see how anyone can dispute the fact that the hardcore PvP MMO market is actually extremely niche and therefore will not be able to support a high production values product.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool