Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Just a link

As I have nothing to add which isn't already said in Belghast's excellent post about the experience of a PvE player in a PvP game like ArchAge, I'm just posting a link to that article.

I don't understand one thing: you played World of Tanks and liked it. Every XP, every credit you earned came from killing players, causing them repair cost, slowing down their progress.

Why is killing someone in WoT OK while killing them in AA is griefing?
Belghast explains that very well in his post: There is a huge difference between consensual and non-consensual PvP. It matters whether I'm in a game to kill other players, who are out to kill me. Or if I am in a game to tend my farm, to quest, to run trade routes, and then get killed by people I had no interest in engaging in combat with.

It isn't the "he is slowing my progress" part, but the "he imposes his game style on me" part.
How is entering a zone that is under war time (clearly marked prior to entering) not consensual PvP? If you want to remove the risk of PvP, wait for peace time. If you don't want to wait, or you want to do high-risk activities (sail the ocean with a trade pack), how is that not the player making the decision to put themselves in danger?
How isn't it the game imposing a certain play style on me if I am forced to wait or forced to not do specific actions?
Or to say it in another way, if you don't think there is any imposition of a certain playstyle, then why aren't you for PvE servers in ArchAge?
If you play WoT, you are forced to PvP ALWAYS. If you play AA, you are forced to PvP sometimes.

Why is always better than sometimes?
I play WoT to PvP. There isn't anything else in WoT than PvP. I don't necessarily play a MMORPG to PvP. Why shouldn't there be a PvE only server that gives me the option to not play PvP?

Furthermore in WoT PvP is balanced, 15 vs. 15. Open world PvP is never balanced, because the attacker never strikes if he isn't sure that he will win.
Tobold, Are you linking to the right article? Belghast's article speaks about open world pvp vs pve in general. I don't recall seeing any specific references to his player experience in Archeage as a PVE player.

Also, why is Archeage imposing a playstyle on you any different from any other game? Archeage is a PVP sandbox game. All the other systems (crafting, farming etc) are meant to provide context, depth and purpose. If you want to craft, you can but you may have to engage in PVP to do so. This is part and parcel of the game. Similarly GW2 and FFXIV are PVE themepark MMOs. Are they imposing a playstyle on me and should therefore have open world PVP servers to cater to my preferences? Is Tomb Raider imposing a playstyle on me by having combat and no option to just explore the island and not have to fight anyone?
Belghast labeled his post #ArcheAge #PVP #Carebear.

And I wouldn't mind if some games that currently don't offer open world PvP would introduce PvP servers. Would you mind if ArchAge opened PvE servers?
"How isn't it the game imposing a certain play style on me if I am forced to wait or forced to not do specific actions?"

So WoW imposes a certain playstyle on you because the arena exists?

And an AA PvE server would work about as well as an EVE PvE server; a bunch of short-sighted people would try it, quickly max out since you don't have PvP creating any risk/balance to the economy, and quit because they are bored or have 'nothing to do'.
After reading the linked article, I have a feeling that like you, Belghast never actually even tried playing the game. For bloggers that write about MMO's this is a huge omission. There is absolutely no PVP in the first 40+ hours of gameplay (or maybe even more). The game is revolutionary in so many aspects, that for any MMO enthusiast (PVP interested or no) it is a must.

I don't like PVP at all, but so far I really enjoy this game. Is it the same game Belghast is describing? If yes, we have completely different experience, or my character is simply too low level. If this is the case I will quit once I get there, but so far the game is fun. With no entry cost it is definitely worth my time.

You still haven't answered my question. How is Archeage imposing a playstyle on you? From your further comments in this thread, it sounds like it is more in the vein of Archeage isn't the type of MMO I like to play so they should provide alternative rulesets that are more in line with the way I like to play. It is not some flaw or restriction in the game itself, correct?

To answer your question directly, I think it would be a mistake. If I were Trion I wouldn't bother until later in its life cycle if retention proves a problem. The PVE aspect of this game is mediocre. The questing is the worst I have seen post WOW. This leaves trade runs and crafting. These things will get old fast without the thrill of conflict as it could get repetitive and dull and feel more like a simulation. PVE players will quickly get bored and move along. The PVE in this game is of a quality where it only serves as a way to ease you into the game to play the PVP part.
Even worse, when the PVE players have gone through content, they will demand more. That could mean resources get redirected to generating more quests or curated content versus improving the depth of the PVP aspects and systems of the game.I think it makes more sense for them to focus on making a successful open world PVP game first and if they made a good go at it and it failed, then generate PVE servers.
How is Archeage imposing a playstyle on you?

It doesn't separate PvP and PvE properly, like for example the WoW Arenas and battlegrounds do. There are PvE reasons to be in areas where you can be affected by PvP. Which means that on a PvP server, you can't do some of the PvE things you want to do because it would be too dangerous. Or at the very least, you can't do them when you want to, because you have to wait for peace.

If Trion made PvE servers and some people thought that PvE alone is too boring, wouldn't those people stay on the PvP servers? I'm pretty sure that there are many people out there who would play ArcheAge if there were PvE servers, because the possibility to get ganked keeps a lot of players from even trying the game.

I don't know how he is hard to understand and then somehow arena pvp forces on peoples playstyles. Obviously, he means that in a pure PVP game, the purpose is to PVP so everyone is their consensually while in a normal MMO, PVP is but one of the ways you can play. In a MMO with forced separation of PVP, these different playstyles don't come into conflict and they can separately play in whatever way they want. In a free for all MMO PVP players can bother PVE players by killing them.

However, if you hate open world PVP I would think Archeage is not right for you. Obviously, Trion will limit their own market from the "carebears" or isolationists but that is their prerogative.
Of course that means that in a game with open world PVP that means you have implied consent to it and people who dislike that probably will leave the game (which to syncaine is probably a plus while to gevlon is not because then no one will be there to exploit).
"I'm pretty sure that there are many people out there who would play ArcheAge if there were PvE servers, because the possibility to get ganked keeps a lot of players from even trying the game." - Tobold

Effectively described me and my guild right there. We decided to give Archeage a pass due to the open PvP nature. Plenty of other, more co-op stuff to keep us entertained without the hassle of griefers.
I'm playing ArcheAge and enjoying it. As yet I haven't seen any PvP let alone participated in any, willingly or unwillingly. There appears to be a ton of pure PvE content, certainly plenty to occupy me for as long as I played, for example, FFXIV, namely a couple of months.

Moreover, ArcheAge is almost identical in its "requirement" that PvE engage in PvP as were several earlier MMOs I played. Allods, for example, uses the exact same "PvE only to 30 then go to contested PvP zones" structure. So did DAOC. I think Warhammer did too, come to think of it. What, exactly, is so different about ArcheAge?

As for the PvP, when it does occur, being "non-consensual", clearly that's nonsense. As a player you are giving consent to potential PvP by a) playing ArcheAge in the first place and b) entering PvP flagged areas. If you don't consent to that, don't download and play the game. Surely that's all there is to it?

@Bhagpuss I think you are right there is an implicit consent to PvP when you play ArcheAge. I do not wish to PvP or play victim for some testosterone fueled ganker. As a result I have not and will not download ArcheAge. (nor did I download or play WoT)
I'm not playing AA because of the requirement to hit a certain level to PvP. I'd rather be getting ganked early than have to wade through a themepark grind to see if the PvP is even worth my time.

Also, as I said on Belghast's post and at least one of the other posts he linked to, AA was designed from the ground up to be a PvP-centric game. Its systems were designed with PvP in mind -- as a recent commenter said, with a separate PvE server people would rush to cap and then complain there was nothing to do.

My opinion is that if people don't like PvP, don't play a game that focuses on it. If you want a sandbox that isn't fully PvP, I know Tobold has talked about a few, you can hang out in the safe zones in EVE, or you can play Landmark.
My opinion is that if people don't like PvP, don't play a game that focuses on it.

That is basically my point.

If the best selling point for ArcheAge to PvE players is that "it's not so bad, and it's not everywhere", that still means that people who don't like PvP shouldn't play ArcheAge unless they introduce PvE servers. Ultima Online is still alive today because they introduced an option to play 100% PvE and never get ganked.
As i mentioned on one of the linked blog posts.

It is quite amusing that alot of the "pushback" on this topic is not coming from "Carebears" , but from people that WANT TO PVP .

A game like AA and EvE both give a crapload of options to PvEers to avoid PvP. Almost 90% of my gameplay in AA so far i could consciously CHOOSE not to be someone's punching bag.

And THAT i've found pisses PvP players off alot more than it would piss off the PvEer having to sneak around a few areas to avoid PvP.

AA for example gives players so much choice , and sure you need to learn a few "tips to avoid PvP" , that i can't fathom PvEers blogging in droves about AA "forcing PvP" on them... in fact i'm seeing quite the opposite.

I am seeing PvPers blogging about "why are the carebears not playing the game the way -I- want to play it? Why are they ruining -my- fun by not traveling to a gankfest open-pvp pirate island or openly putting a big target on their backs for me to attack them? "

It was amusing to note, i went to AA with my guild the other night, we were like 20 players , EVERY single player had Stealth and were actively using Stealth. It was pretty obvious most players have CHOSEN to pick an entire subclass (despite it not making any logical sense for the class you are playing) to avoid and neutralize their risk in PvP.

What does that tell me? Even PvP players themselves do not like being surprised or forced to PvP without having it on their terms. Stealth/Escape is a mechanism to make PvP "optional" and "on your own terms".

There is a reason why the Rogue class was always popular in WoW, especially in PvP .

So i really wonder who is really the ones complaining here? PvEers are successfully avoiding entire games or entire sub parts of games these days, and guess who is really complaining?.....
I dislike PVP, even more so because my crappy PC can't cope terribly well with combat and having FPS issues/frame drops.

Having said that, I'm playing Archeage and so far I've managed to completely dodge any PvP. I'm level 47, mind you, and I've quested through 4 and a half "contested" zones so far, with minimal interference due to me chosing to go there when it's in peace. When I can't find a zone to quest in, I do crafting/farming/mining and I'm running packs through the safe zones.

Zero issues at all, so far. My only concern is that I might run out of things to do in the endgame, since I don't have a guild yet, but that's my fault rather than the game's.
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I just want to add, i think ArcheAge has been somewhat misrepresented in the media/blogs.

I did not pick AA to PvP, i was aware there will be PvP and it would most likely be a TESO/GW2 "endgame" activity which i don't need to participate in.

And it pretty much is exactly that. You will get introduced to your PvP future fairly early in the game during one trade based quest , but all it taught me was "ok, so here is an option, i can get this reward and expose myself to PvP , or stick to my safe farm and ignore it" .

Hell, even a WoW PvP server are more "forced PvP" than AA. The whole concept of regions going from peace -> war (as in going from pretty much "must turn on your PvP flag to PvP" to "can be attacked by anyone while you are here" ) means it's a carebear as can get.

I like the variety and options more than not having it. So imho AA is not imposing any playstyle on you, you don't want to PvP to get Gilda? Then don't, do the dailies PvE quests.

Don't want to get ganked and robbed of your tradepack on trade runs? Don't do runs in zones that are in a state of war , either wait for peace or do another route..... the words of Sid Meier:

"A game is a series of interesting choices. "

AA is providing exactly that.
Hey Silver do you have a link to a blog where someone is complaining that they can't PvP or gank enough in AA? Because I've yet to see that, mostly due to the fact that if you want to PvP in AA, be it just for fights or for profit, you can almost always find plenty of it at all times.

@Vinciblegod: If I'm a mount collector in WoW, the game forces PvP on me. If I'm a title collector, same thing. If I really want a specific item that's arena-only, forced PvP.

If your goal in AA is just to hit level cap and farm/craft, or run dungeons, the game doesn't force PvP on you. If, like in WoW, you expect access to EVERYTHING, then yes, PvP is part of that. But like in WoW, unless you go in blind, you knew that from day one.
I think some people are getting caught up in the "should." It's not should like you should vote or eat more fiber or obey the law. It's their game and they are allowed to anything legal with it, including shutting it down. Anyone who plays any game essentially consents to playing by the rules of that game. But this isn't about laws, it's about commerce.

It seems to me there are two propositions:

1) AA would make more money if they better enabled (i.e. made more appealing ) people like Belghast, Tobold and I to play.

2) Given #1, then I think they have an obligation to their shareholders and should do it.

So are people arguing against Tobold arguing against #1.? I would argue that the number of carebears dwarfs the number of people who want owpk. But even if that were not true, what Tobold discussed was a way for incremental revenue while keeping the existing servers/rulesets available.

Or are people arguing #2 - that the companies would make more money if they had a carebear option but the proponents would prefer if they forgo the additional revenue?
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AA is not the problem , as i mentioned it is designed to give both PvEers and PvPers options to play the game oblivious of each other. That said, the game is still new, over time when PvPers get bored and just zerging around the map ganking, they very well might find the game being TOO friendly towards carebears.

What i meant was that PvPers tending to be alot more defensive about this topic than Carebears, because PvPers still fundamentally need players to compete against, and if people can simply pack up and go, it will directly ruin their experience (while PvEers do not have this issue) ....

Amusingly here's a post from Tobold himself on this, from like a decade ago regarding UO-Trammel (and surely you know who complained the most about Trammel and how it ruined UO because players could not gank anymore?)

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