Players all over Hyboria have been waiting for an update on the new PvP mechanics that will soon be implemented on live servers. Today Funcom US Community Manager Glen "Famine" Swan posted an update on the official forums inviting players to give the system a try on test live. He also opened up a discussion thread to allow players to discuss the system and offer feedback to aid the developers in tweaking things for live.
Many of you have been asking about the status of the PvP Update and when it will be made available on the live servers so I wanted to bring you all an update today on just that. With PvP combat being such an integral part of the game we feel it is important that the new PvP systems are as robust as possible when they are released to the live dimensions. That means a lot of testing to pull, prod and poke the new rulesets to see where they might not quite be up to the job. It is very important to us that the system works well to maximize peoples enjoyment and try to avoid having to change too many things after it goes live.
We are currently working through the intended progression for the new PvP system. How fast should it be for players to progress? At what levels should the rewards come? How long do we want it to take a player to get the first level? How long should it take to reach the maximum level and how much should we balance between the hardcore player and the more casual player. This is being worked on through tests and through taking data from all the live servers and examining peoples PVP habits. It is important for us to be basing our progression decisions on real information and player feedback so that we dont pitch it too high or too low.
So whats currently being tested? One of the core feature of the PvP update is the new Notoriety System (formerly known as the fugitive system) which is being implemented to discourage some of the more anti-social elements of a PVP environment (Remember we want PVP to be as fun as possible for as many people as possible). This area obviously requires that we test a lot of very different scenarios to test the robustness of rules applied to give the system an automatic way to detect activity directly and flag the player character according to predefined rules.
How many levels lower must a killed target be to justify it as a lowbie kill and add murder points to the killers account? How do we handle the various situations where players may try and deliberately get someone flagged as a criminal through no fault of their own? Testing these scenarios takes a deal of time, and quite a lot of rulesets to be implemented in the code. While many are already in place we are working through and improving them and making sure they are as flexible as possible before they go on the live servers.
The same detailed testing has to be done with the new PvP gear as well given that those items can have a direct impact about a classes ability in PvP. We want these items to be a worthwhile addition to a players available choices, both as a reward for their hard work, and as a status symbol for those who reach the highest ranks.
These are just a few examples of topics that need to be tested and tweaked and then again be tested and maybe get tweaked some more. This process is obviously taking additional time as we want to ensure that the system will work as well as it can before we consider introducing it to the live servers. While we understand that everyone would love to have the new system as soon as possible, we also feel that it is important that system works on all the levels we would like it to before we release it to live. Yes, it has taken us longer than we first expected, but we hope everyone understands that the system will be better for the additional testing.
This being said, I invite everyone to come join us on our test servers and see for yourself how the PvP consequence system and other changes are shaping up. There are still a few things to tweak and adjust, especially as more players give their valuable feedback on it. The update is definitely getting closer and closer to being ready for live, and we really hope that everyone appreciates the reasons why we feel the extra time spent is worthwhile.
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