OK so here’s a conundrum… I like playing on PvP servers in faction based MMO games. PvE servers annoy the turd outta me and I much prefer the tension a full PvP server provides, but I also loathe the retarded sub-humans from the “pwned u gay!!111 cult of twats that infest every PvP server. You know the ones, those mouthy pricks that bring 5 mates to gank lowbie soloers, but then get all shitty when we respond to help and wipe the floor with them since they can’t cope with even odds. Particularly rude and shitty it seems, if you retaliate by following them across the server and farming them in total silence non-stop for 2 hours as we used to do when helping people in RIFT. :D Anyway, it’s a medical fact that they’re all prize wankers in real life, every single one. They should all be dumped on Pitcairn Island and crossbred with syphilitic goats.
Now, because I tend to level quite fast and play with mates it’s not actually a big problem for me personally, but over the years of gaming I have regularly had to go help lower level people who’re getting shafted. I’ve known many good friends that for whatever reason level slower than most of us and because of that they end up being constantly ganked by high levels in lowbie zones. This has led to decent people quitting games because they just can’t be arsed with the hassle. So the whole thing does just irritate me, it’s a shitty situation created by lazy development when it comes to combining PvP with the levelling process. Plus, I don’t spend my time with Jeremy Kyle reject chav scum in real life and I’d rather not share my virtual oxygen with the internet equivalent either.
So you might think I would be better off on those rare beasts; the PvP/RP server, with theoretically a more stylish and classy atmosphere. Alas no. At the same time whilst I’ve got nothing against roleplayers, I can’t really be arsed with it and my characters will often have stupid names, so a PvP/RP server isn’t really an option. Plus I gather those servers generally are no better.
Where then should I play?
I honestly don’t know anymore. Of course I could do PvE, but seriously, PvE servers infuriate me. The moment I see a member of the opposing faction farming mobs next to me, but I don’t have the option of attacking them, pfffft, all immersion and atmosphere is killed instantly. I don’t necessarily want to always attack them, but I least what us to both have the option of doing so. Imagine playing SWTOR… you’re there with your big bad super evil Sith Warrior punching Ewoks in the prostate and generally being evil, but then you’re only able to watch as Loke Skyyywalker merrily kills Imperial soldiers right next to you and then skips off singing about unicorns and flowers. For me that situation would make the game feel very sterile. I don’t particularly want to be role-playing and so on, but I do want a bit of the sensation that puts the RPG in MMORPG.
And this is where I think WAR got it very, very right, yet a little bit wrong. WAR’s tier system splits the game-world into 4 level bandings. I’ve gone blank on what it is since it got updated but it’s roughly 1-12, 13-27, 28-39 and then 40, albeit with a little cross over between bandings where you can access both tiers. Now, if you enter a PvP flagged area of a zone that your character is too high for… BWOCK! The game turns you into a chicken, with all the power and survivability a chicken has. This is brilliant in that it allows players to do their XP thing without max level players turning up en mass to gank the poor lowbies, yet still allows for that tension and combat between people of relevant levels. So yes you can of course still be ganked by people within your level banding, but that’s fine, the only advantage they might have is numbers and that is something you can sort out just by grouping or calling for help. It stops a few pricks driving people away from the server and allows for a more competitive and fair PvP environment. It also allows for meaningful XP gain from PvP.
Where WAR got it wrong with the tiers is quite a big subject, but the main ones are that it was too restrictive on the overall content available at higher levels and it also meant at times certain tiers would be very quiet if the latest wave of players had moved past it, which in a population reliant game like WAR, that’s a problem. Yet regardless of those issues, the actual core concept of putting bandings onto zones to ensure fairer PvP is sound. It’s just the application of that concept that needs work, which I think is quite simple really…
Have the game’s zones split into bandings and if a player enters a zone they are too high for the game automatically scales their level and stats down to match the relevant level banding. Use preset stat levels for each class that are just under what would be the maximum amounts attainable for someone properly within that banding (a slight disadvantage to account for their wider range of abilities). Gear, etc would be irrelevant for a high level player in lower zones, so that if they want to go play with the lowbies then they can and the game automatically levels the playing field.
I think this adaption the Tier system from WAR could make for a much better PvP experience throughout the levelling experience and could reap further benefits at max level by extending the value and lifetime of earlier content. Sure, it won’t stop twats being twats, some folks will never take a fight on if the odds are even vaguely fair, but it would at least give people a bit more of a fighting chance. Which as these are games and meant to be fun, surely that’s no bad thing?
PS: This in could also benefit the PvE content in those zones as if done correctly it would stay relevant and not be something high levels just blast people through. Dungeons for example could actually be kept worthwhile through token rewards that scale to your natural level, giving them relevance no matter your level and who you choose to group with. As well as not having to gimp lowbies XP when grouping with their high level mates.
What do you reckon?