RvR vs. PvP (#Gaming #MMO #MMOGaming)
Published on April 13th, 2010 @ 07:28:38 am , using 425 words, 2297 views
Playing Warhammer Online again for the past week or two has made me realize there's a lot that a lot of players just don't "get" about "PvP" in some of the newer MMOs. I'll talk mainly about WAR, since that's what I've been playing - but I remember these same issues in Battlegrounds in WoW as well.
WAR is specifically a "Realm vs. Realm" (RvR) game rather than strictly a "Player vs. Player" (PvP) game. I think a lot of people, when they see "PvP" as a feature, think it's mainly one player vs. one other player - so they end up, maybe even subconsciously, having a very "solo minded" attitude about it. That it's all about their performance and what they can personally do. The problem is that WAR is very much about teamwork, as the game is really Realm vs. Realm, and you need to do things to help out your team - even if it's stuff that doesn't pump your numbers on any scoreboard.
"Support" classes have it tough, of course. The scoreboards all show damage and healing - so of course people constantly want to do things that'll pump up their numbers on either of those meters. But what about other, useful things, such as rooting or staggering the enemy so that people can get away, or catch the enemy in order to kill them? That kind of thing doesn't show on any meter, but sometimes can mean the difference between win and loss when done at the right time. If you only worry about your personal scoreboard numbers, you tend to only use damaging or healing abilities as they're the ones that pump numbers. When too many people play that way, your side tends to lose.
So what's the solution? From a game mechanics point of view, I'm not sure there is one. I guess game designers could start working on a way to track "assists" somehow. Maybe count how many times a player used CC vs. another player that was then "soon after" killed - and then consider that a "kill assist" and show that kind of thing on a scoreboard. The real solution, though, has to come from players. In a game that's about teamwork, players need to start thinking for the team and not worrying about the scoreboard. I find that when my side wins, it's a lot more satisfying than simply seeing my character top a scoreboard. And you usually get more out of it from the game too - XP, "renown," or whatever else the game in question awards for winning.
STO also has this issue, it mostly rewards damage done and nothing else. But at least the Space War Zones now reward people for completing objectives.
There will also never be a really “fair” system to gauge individual effort in a team environment. IMO they should just put all that individual statistics on a back seat ("page 2″) and focus the display on the thing that should matter: Team Score.
Faced with the same frustrations, I’ve considered how to solve the problems you’ve mentioned, too. I’m not sure there is a solution.
I think that’s why I have such a love/hate relationship with PvP. Nothing gets my blood pressure going more than watching some douchecanoe completely screw a pvp match and gain the same rewards the rest of us get and earn FOR them.