They’re killing PvE!

(hot damn, I so love sensationalist titles)

I look at many of the upcoming titles, and what do I see?

Age of Conan: Mostly PvP
Warhammer Online: Mostly PvP
Pirates of the Burning Sea: Mostly PvP
GW:EN / GW2: Mostly PvP

And so on. What the hell, people? Have we given up on PvE? Have we collectively accepted that there’s no way around WoW’s raid-centric PvE (almost universally maligned, yet at the same time almost universally played), so we don’t bother anymore? What’s a progress-minded soloist PvEr to do? Do I have to write a manifesto? Would it have readers, or would they all be busy killing each other?

Do I have to start letterbombing some offices? No! I can’t! That would be PvP! Aaaaargh!

21 thoughts on “They’re killing PvE!”

  1. Yes, it probably is their answer to the question ‘How do you compete with WoW?’

  2. Ummm….

    Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising – No PvP at launch but then consensual only
    Tabula Rasa – Consensual PvP only

    (and by consensual I mean in specific areas)

    Pirates of the Burning Sea is NOT mostly PvP. Land based quests (Incan mystical quests, etc are PvE…lots of crafting, economy, etc.) All PvP is consensual. Heck, I plan to only cause unrest by being a merchant and moving goods into non-home ports. Once unrest starts I’ll move on…Game is NOT PvP-centric.

    And you’re making that the assumption that the endgame is PvP because that is what WoW did. Games before WoW did not do that…

    Yes, there were games before the Gorilla.

  3. You know what, I give up on MMOs. They can all flail their pathetic arms at WoW, but none of them are going to win if they don’t do something different!

    Now Im gonna make myself a sammich, and when I get back, I want my Sci-Fi PvE Consumable Content MMO online and Free to Play.

  4. Ophelea: I’ll give you Gods & Heroes and TR, but I still maintain my assessment of PotBS.

  5. If i remember correctly, Conan is PvE single player until you reach level 20, when you then go online and PvP.
    Personally, i’m not a fan of PvP unless it’s by choice. I’ve had too many times where i’ve been camped by someone out of my range to even scratch and just felt like i was wasting my time and money playing.

  6. For solo PvE, there is an entire console and offline game industry that is designed for us. What the heck are we carebears doing here?

  7. If this is a real trend then I would posit that it is happening for principally two reasons.

    Game developers are looking to distinguish themselves from current MMOs. (I see all MMOs out today as basically the same whether they are fantasy or sci-fi). They can do this in atleast one of two ways, through compelling PvE or PvP.

    The way I see it current PvE encounters are ultimately boring (especially the raid-style encounters, for me at the very least) and to make them more compelling would require more innovative encounter designs supported by a revolution in enemy AI.

    Alternatively developers can provide the framework for compelling PvP and can let the players make of it what they will (basically using a sand-box approach). This to me is much easier than the aforementioned changes in PvE.

    Not sure if I articulated that well enough but it is essentially what I think.

  8. Julian: Do I have to start letterbombing some offices? No! I can’t! That would be PvP! Aaaaargh!

    Bomb away. That’s PvD (Dev)… groundbreaking game mechanics there.

  9. You’re also missing Darkfall, the self-proclaimed UO Style PVP Messiah(tm) on the list.

    Also apart from G&H, TR and PotBS there’s also Aion. Interestingly enough, PotBS aswell as Aion take up a goal-driven mixture of PVE and PVP, that i find quite interesting, since hopefully everyone will be able to do what they like best, be it PVP or PVE, while still working towards a common goal for their faction.

  10. Sadly there are just many more innovative ways to create unique and refreshing gameplay in PVP. Lately when a company makes an attempt at PvE it’s considered either boring or a WoW clone. You can’t win there.

    In PVP there are several ways to create a more dynamic and enriching experience. Players are able to create their own content and gameplay in PVP much easier than they are in PvE. It will remain this way until someone out there comes up with a way to make PvE more than just raids or grinds.

  11. Hehe, Dungeon Runners is your soloist pve game. Even though they didn’t make it much of an mmo.

    I don’t hear many complaints about WoW pve any more. Sure the raid game has it’s fault inherent to raiding, but overall it’s supposed to be pretty good now. PvP on the other hand… well, there’s always the balance issues. And then the afking… and the lack of world pvp… Remember pvp was a second priority for WoW, so naturally some major games will probably try to make improvements on that theme.

  12. I disagree with your assertion that GW: EN and GW2: will be “mostly PvP”. I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but it’s simply not true that GW: EN is mostly for PvPers. I am a PvE player, and there will be tons of stuff for me to do in the first ever GW expansion.

    In fact, some of the PvPers are complaining that they’ve been shafted in GW: EN in terms of PvP content. There’s a huge amount of story, questing, mythos, and lore in GW: EN. There are mini games, but you can’t play other players. All of the new Skills in GW: EN are PvE-only. In one of the panels, someone asked the developers why it seemed that GW: EN was PvE-centric. I think they ignored the fact that GW now has the automated tournament system, which was introduced recently.

    If there’s anything that I learned over this weekend after attending the Guild Wars panels at PAX and speaking to the developers in-person, its that the developers want their game to be enjoyed in as many ways as possible, and this means catering to as many play styles as possible.

    Please check out my write-up of one of the PAX Guild Wars panels for more information:

  13. Zubon, I second that notion.

    To me, the glory of MMOs is the interaction with other players, and the fact that other players drive the game and contribute to the fiction.

    If I didn’t want interaction with other players, or a player-driven game, I would (and do) play kick ass single player games or non-massive multiplayer games.

    I tried to play WoW with a locally running hacked server. No lag: awesome. Total lack of idiots (expect, possibly, for one): awesome. Game itself: still kinda stinks. Went back to playing single-player games.

    Played EVE. Totally different experience. What I did mattered – to me, to other people, to some degree the world around me. With enough effort, especially with some teamwork, I could seriously mess with an entire region’s economy. I could blow up someone’s ship and have it actually matter to them. I could build a home base in a barren star system, and have it besieged by an enemy corporation.

    Note, also, that PvP doesn’t (have to) mean ganking. A Tale in the Desert is a PvP game by my definition. Thus, PvE and “carebear” doesn’t have to go together at all.

    To me, a game with PvE focus means a single-player game with lag and idiots. It means subscription fees, massive mandatory patches that drastically change my gameplay, and server queuing when I could be playing. It means shallow gameplay which has been artificially obfuscated for the illusion of complexity, when in actuality the underlying formulas are easily perceived – as they must be, to reduce server load and response time.

    If you like a PvE RPG experience with friends, why aren’t you playing NeverWinter Nights? It’s free to play and most modules have far better storylines and combat experiences than most high-profile MMOs. You can make your own dungeons and stop badgering Blizzard for more content patches. Heck, one of you can even be a GM, and you don’t even have to perform virtual sexual favours for the privilege.

    Me, I prefer to think that Funcom, Mythic, FLS and ArenaNet have caught on to the fact that gamers are catching on to the scam. PvE players have bought Xboxes. My best indicator of this trend is the fact that the Massively Online Gamers podcast has stopped being about MMOGs. :)

  14. I think people like to feel challenged. They like the spur of the moment feel that PvP brings. Unfortunately for PvE, it always feels by the books. When I explore a dungeon, I want to feel like I’m exploring, not following a routine. When I fight a boss, I want to react to his movements on my gut feeling not because some guy told me to move this way when the boss does that. It’s just so structured, and while PvP has it’s own bit of “structuredness,” it’s not quite as much. I also think it’s much easier to come up with ideas for PvP than it is for PvE, and still make it feel new and fun.

    I’ve been playing a game the past few days called Lunia. It’s much like Guild Wars in the fact that the whole game is instanced and you have a story to progress through. However, unlike typical MMOs it takes pride in calling itself an Arcade/MMO hybrid. What’s cool is that the bosses play out like an adventure game. You learn boss patterns and dodge moves. You hit the boss because YOU did it, not because the dice said you hit or missed. It’s a fun change of pace.

  15. Not a major asset, but partially it can be blamed on balancing encounters on PVE. If it’s too tough, no one sees the content. If its too easy, top end players get bored really fast. In PVP, when you get your butt kicked, you say “wow, those guys are good.”. In PVE, when you get your butt kicked, the first common reaction is “This encounter isn’t tuned properly, its too hard.”. People expect success in PVE (who cant beat a computer, aMIRITE?) and if you lose, its off to a better guide or strategy on the internet – while in PVP, getting whooped makes you think harder, and act faster, and try to be better.

    In short, PVP is “human” balanced, PVE is “computer” balanced.

  16. Braack, that’s an excellent point.

    PvP challenge people to outsmart each other.

    PvE is a far more passive form of entertainment. Real challenges don’t usually start until the ridiclious-level Raid quests, and are usually solved just by having lots of uber-powered people on your team. Complaints from players abound regarding the difficulty levels of these encounters – the curious can study WoW and see how it’s gone from a “casual” MMO to one of the most hardcore grindfests around, due to the relative player skill and the requirement to meet it.

    Not to say that PvP players don’t complain about tuning, though. Nerf complaints are certainly just as common among PvPers, if not even moreso, but the attitude towards challenges isdifferent.

  17. yeah well I enjoy PvE and would love to play an MMORPG that sticks 2 fingers at the PvP hive and tell em to go take a running jump, sick to the back teeth with PvP girlys screaming for class nerfs that unbalance PvE, I want to log in with my friends and just waste some time. I would probably enjoy PvP if it didn’t look like a bloody joke, 2 prats running around in circles, yeah great fun, awesome, epic shit that! If PvP was more like SWG anchorhead battles i’ll be there, but it seems you lot just want 1 on 1 and will defend your right to gank some newb 40 levels below you, most of the pvpers I’ve met shy for a real fights and look for the easy option like exploits, only the other day I was playing AoC pvp and some twat kept teleporting away. Most PvPers are the biggest carebears out there, and will only pick a fight they know they can win.

    And the only reason devs are paying the pvpers so much attention is because they scream the loudest, you know the saying? the squeakiest wheel gets the oil, and man do they squeak!

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