Turbine Spilled PvP on My PvE!
it had to happen.
I knew it was coming, and I blocked it out of my
mind, hoping it wouldn't happen. The developers in Dungeons &
Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) are planning to institute
player-versus player (PvP) combat.
The announcement came at E3, on 5/10. Mark that date as the day that
the developers got their PvP all over my RP (roleplaying). The
following is from the press release by Jefferey Anderson, president and
Ceo of Turbine, inc.: “We are committed to delivering future DDO
modules that include features that continue to expand the game, such as
additional character levels and player-versus-player battles.”
Wonderful. Time for me to go to my happy place.
Why is this such a big deal to me? The developers have commented
that all PvP will be by consent only and in specific areas. A player
would have to actively seek out PvP to have it, so it shouldn't affect
people who are not interested in PvP.
This is accurate, in theory, but inaccurate in implementation. The fact
is that PvP cannot be implemented without affecting players who are not
interested in participating in PvP. I understand that I have agreed to
live with “game experience changing in play” because DDO is a
massively-multiplayer online game (MMOG)—and therefore a flexible
situation. Spells have to change. Feats have to change. Classes have to
But PvP is different. It affects all of the people who don't want PvP
to provide a PvP experience for those who want it. Turbine (and
developers of other MMOGs, for that matter) contends that they will
only change the game from its Dungeons & Dragons roots if it isn't
fun. But this isn't the case when Turbine changes a game for PvP. In
effect, the developers are making the game less fun for the players not
interested in PvP to create what the developers think will be fun for
the players who want PvP. Changes in the game that I play that affect
me, if not done for coding, and if providing a more enjoyable
experience for OTHER players is taking the money I spend for enjoyment,
and giving it to another.
Evidently, the views of those who don't want PvP are not as important
to the developers of Turbine as the views of those who want PvP. My
response to that isn't something my editor will let me print, but you
can imagine what I have to say about it.
Now, if you notice, I haven't yet given you my views on why changing a
game to have PvP has to affect the players not interested in PvP. These
are listed below:
PvP Forces Changes to Mechanics or Character Building
The abilities that are useful in PvP are different than in player vs.
environment (PvE). This seems innocent enough, but is has wide
consequences. For example, if a spell that is not particularly useful
in PvE situations, such as Cause Fear, turns out to be useful in PvP,
then people will take it. So a person making a sorcerer who intends to
use this character for PvP will take Cause Fear. Then the person wishes
to level his character, which can only be accomplished in PvE. The
result is that you are recruiting a sorcerer who has substandard spells
into your party. You, who are not participating in PvP, have been
affected by PvP. Of course, this not only applies to spells, but Feats,
Skills and so on.
PvP Forces Changes to Loot
There is a conflict of interest in serving PvP and PvE players. For
example, Vault of Night (VoN) items might be found to be too powerful
if used in PvP, and the PvP players will be upset about their being
limited in availability. So the developers might choose to change VoN
to be harder to complete, or perhaps to change the items found in VoN
to be less interesting. Of course, this again affects PvE players who
are not interested in PvP.
PvP Forces Changes to Playstyle Even in PvE
Players who play PvP will have motivations to play different quests
than players who are not interested in PvP. For example, if an item in
a particular quest is particularly good for PvP, then PvP players will
want to play that particular quest. What this means is that other
players will not be able to group with those people as often since
those people will want to do the “good PvP item” quests.
PvP Forces Turbine to Divide Limited Resources
Coding resources will be split up, or the game will be changed to
accommodate PvP. PvP can be handled two ways. Spells, Feats, Skills and
other features can be changed to be balanced for PvP, affecting all
players. Or spells, Feats, Skills and other features can be changed to
have a different affect in the PvP areas. This of course pulls
developers and coders away from PvE projects, meaning the money of
someone spent paying for DDO who does not want PvP is paying for PvP.
There's no way around it; PvP affects people not interested in PvP. The
sad thing about this is that it's certainty. There is no question that
PvP will be brought to the game. The decision to implement PvP was
decided at a meeting well before they mentioned it along side the
Module 2 announcement. They wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise.
What's more, the problems and affects to players not interested in PvP,
like myself, have surfaced before in other MMOGs—something Turbine
So the developers of DDO know that they are spending my payments to
them, in part, to change my game to cater to someone else. And that's
something that I'll keep in mind.