It’s strange. A few years ago no one seemed the slightest bit interested in PvP yet now we can’t seem to escape it. Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, Aion, and Allods Online are recent triple-A MMORPGs with a heavy focus on player versus player combat and even older games seem to be actively retrofitting themselves out with PvP mechanics. EQ2, now over 5 years old, introduced battlegrounds with it’s latest expansion in February and WoW seems to be pushing it harder than ever before with some rather large changes coming in Cataclysm designed purely to improve PvP.
I like PvP. A lot. So overall I’m pretty happy with this new trend especially as it seems to be endorsing the kind of consensual combat that I like. Unlike the olden days or in indie games, these MMOs don’t offer free-for-all gankathons but instead restrict PvP to particular areas, battlegrounds or private arenas. We have the blood lust, for sure, but it seems like we still want to feel safe and secure.
However, as much as I like this new found PvP aspect in games, I can’t help but wonder if it’s asking too much of MMOs as a genre and even if the whole thing is really necessary. Now MMORPGs are competing not only on offering immersive PvE with lots of content but also a whole sub-game of PvP. Plus that’s not just a lot to ask, it’s also a bloody tough balance to get right.
So what do you think about this new trend of focusing heavily on PvP in MMOs? Is it unnecessary and diminishing our PvE experience or an additional feature that enriches our gaming one? I demand to know! Answer me or I’ll come round to your house and gank you! And by gank I mean politely ask you to inform me of your opinion. Because, y’know, you might own a gun.