Loading... PvPvE... vP?

One of the emerging MMO trends we saw at PAX 2009 was this idea of indirect PvP (or PvPvE). We'll explore how the idea has evolved and whether or not formalizing PvPvE will make PvP more attractive to co-op PvE players in today's Loading... PvPvE... vP?

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One of the emerging MMO trends we saw at PAX 2009 was this
idea of indirect PvP (or PvPvE). We'll explore how the idea has
evolved and whether or not formalizing PvPvE will make PvP
more attractive to co-op PvE players in today's Loading... PvPvE... vP?


The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
result is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/" target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/41"
    target="_blank">World of Warcraft
  2. Lord
    of the Rings Online
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/860">Champions
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/115">Age of
  5. EverQuest

Biggest movers today:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2036"
    Wars 2
    (UP 64 to #14)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/117">Star
    Trek Online
    (UP 24 to #19)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2213"
    Age Origins
    target="_blank"> (UP 18 to #10)
MMO Releases


  • 9/15 -
    - GDC
  • 10/1 -
    href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/">EVE FanFest

Loading... Daily

Much has been made of Aion's PvPvE concept and how the Abyss will
impact players who perhaps got a little too used to playing a co-op PvE
game. In the video
released yesterday, Assoc. Producer Lani Blazier eased our concerns
with the risk-free "training camp" being developed and her demo of
PvPvE instance design, where the two factions beat back the
NPC-controlled Balaur along separate but connected paths on a race to
the final area (or perhaps you choose to help the Balaur against your
enemies to sabotage their progress).  Lani also showed the
Dark Poeta instance, where the final boss scales to your faction's
instance performance. If you take 2-3 hours to clear the zone, you'll
get a better boss and better loot, whereas if you just run it for
completion in an hour, you'll get a lesser boss (and, of course, lesser

The idea of indirect PvP also popped up in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/74239"> The Secret
World demo, where Ragnar Tørnquist explained that the three
secret societies have a sort of gentleman's code regarding open PvP -
they don't go around killing each other, especially with the war
against the Big Looming Evil (TM) raging. In the game's overworld, most
of the PvP shenanigans revolve around defacing the other societies'
headquarters - raising your flag above their HQ, making a thousand
copies of your butt on their copier, tying up their call center with
questions about Prince Albert in a can, that sort of thing. Things get
more serious down below in Hollow Earth, where everyone's fighting over
control of anima nodes to power the fight against Big Looming Evil. But
indications are that the three societies aren't the only ones
populating Agartha and Hollow Earth, and chances are you'll have to
deal with more than the PvP threat.

Finally, Rusty Williams explained the Pirates of the Burning Sea's new
skirmish system as being, again, a risk-free introduction and training
ground for port actions - a part of the game that's set to explode with
the introduction of port governance in the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/74016">coming
expansion. In port actions, of course, you'll be dealing with
AI-controlled enemies and faction enemies, so there's an element of
indirect PvP here too.

Three games may or may not make for a trend, but there's little doubt
that developers are catering more to the PvP crowd* nowadays. They're
also doing a few things - i.e. the training camps - to bring PvE
players into the fold too. Call it PvPvE, call it indirect PvP, two
player factions is company, but a third NPC faction fighting for
control of the same area might be a crowd. Don't get me wrong, I'm a
big fan of the mustache-twirling interloper letting the two parties
wear themselves down before he makes his move. It's a fun,
strategically clever element that makes for a great story a lá Yojimbo
or For a Few Dollars More.

But if (and that's a big if) the "vE"in PvPvE is
meant to make the idea more appealing to PvE-oriented gamers, it's a
failure, and here's why. PvE gamers don't hate the idea of PvP as much
as they hate the idea of enaging an AI-controlled monster only to be
facerolled by a faction opponent waiting in the wings. Indirect PvP
encourages and formalizes the practice. If you're that kind of gamer,
that's great - by introducing mechanics to support your gamestyle, PvP
becomes much more interesting and worthwhile. If you're not, PvP
becomes all the more scary and complicated. For a subset But this idea
of skirmishes / training camps could help, so long as it's a lot more
fun that it sounds.
Completing PvE objectives to advance the PvP cause is nothing new -
just about every game having an appreciable PvP side (with the
exception of LotRO, which does an awesome job of keeping PvP separate
from core gameplay) has its share of this. I guess my contention is
that it's never really been an indispensible part of the endgame
before, and if it's geared toward making a PvP endgame more accessible,
it might be the right idea but wrong execution. Agree / disagree?
Here's the part where you take the PvPvE discussion
to our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=46184">Loading...

* Welcome to the first ever Loading... footnote (world first!).
I have to disagree with WoW Producer J. Allen Brack's href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/73567/page/4#morepvp">comments
that there's no such thing as a PvP or a PvE player, that players are
just looking for the fastest path to more achievements. That might be
true in an established and hugely popular game like WoW. But in
less-settled games where players are still playing the game (instead of
letting the game play them), I think players definitely have a
pre-defined style and preference that you part them from at your peril.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=589">Aion
General Discussion

your open beta experiences so far

in open beta, and many have flocked to crowd the lands of Elysea and
Asmodae, an event which, unfortunately, seems to have resulted in a lot
of flocking lag for some players.

Whether you're lagging or,
like me, completely lag-free (can I get an amen?), Sepharious would
like you to lay in your vote and voice your opinion on your Aion beta
experience thus far. Will you be purchasing the game and firing it up
come September 22, eager to achieve Daeva status and stretch your
wings? Are you mostly unimpressed? Or are you still undecided? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=46135">Talk
about it!

Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"The most fun for me is
just watching the laughably bad chat filter destroy common words like
'class' and 'fun.'"

- Reavi

true! I was going to turn off the filter, but now I see it as a
minigame. I try and decipher which letters have been taken out. Some
words are tough; I find myself wanting to buy a vowel."

- Medeor

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=32559">Tell

7 new MMOG home-grown articles today! 24
976 in

MMO Coverage from PAX 2009

  • First
    Ever Look at PvP in The Secret World

    Funcom's Ragnar Tørnquist and Martin Bruusgaard teamed up for a first
    ever look at player vs. player (PvP combat in The Secret World. The
    three secret societies, united in their fight against evil but divided
    in their pursuit of power, will fight for control over the source of
    their power, the anima nodes in Agartha, deep in Hollow Earth.
  • Video:
    The Secret World's Three Secret Societies

    The pre-PAX reveals introduced us to The Secret World's three
    overarching factions that, as Funcom says, are loosely united in their
    fight against evil, but divided in the pursuit of power. Basically, the
    self-righteous Templars, the bad-boy Illuminati, and the chaotic
    Dragons are vying to see who holds sway once the darker days have come
    to an end. Players will have to join up with one of these factions
    right at the start of the game, so check out the video for an in-depth
    look at the three secret societies of The Secret World. When you're
    finished, check out the second video in the series: a first ever look
    at PvP in The Secret World!
  • New
    in-game screenshots from The Secret World

    Four new screenshots from The Secret World show off some of the
    landscapes, bosses, and character models from the game. Those that love
    that anachronistic feel of magic in a declining modern-day society have
    much to look forward to. My personal favorite is the concrete rebar
    monster, with blood soaked scarecrow a close second, what's yours?
    Check out the images and share your comments in the Ten Ton Hammer

More from PAX

More Ten Ton Hammer Features:

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion/previews/patch1.5highlights">Aion
    Patch 1.5 Highlights
    Aion launch is just around the corner and while fans wait in
    anticipation, we all want to be as up-to-date on the game as
    possible.  Game Update 1.5 adds tons of content and we have
    the highlights of this huge content addition, including class tweaks
    and nerfs, making it easy to see what features will be making it into
    the launch version of the game later this month.
  • EVE
    - Sins of a Solar Spymaster #26 – The Doomsday Epitaph

    News is beginning to leak about Eve Online's upcoming expansion
    'Dominion'. Some of the rumored changes to the Titan's Doomsday attack
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    Spymaster, the Mittani talks about the imbalance the Titan's Doomsday
    brought to Eve Online and why the changes are a good thing.
  • World
    of Warcraft
    - Trial of the Crusader - Twin Valkyr Strategy

    Patch 3.2 patch to the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King,
    brought us the raid instance located in the Argent Crusades Coliseum.
    The fourth encounter in the Trial of the Crusader raid is a fun and
    challenging one against the Twin Valkyr Fjola Lightbase and Edyis
    Darkbane.  The two appear in opposite white and black angelic
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    pool and when you defeat one the other goes down as well. Join Byron
    "Messiah" Mudry as he guides you through the strategies that will help
    you defeat the Twin Valkyr.
  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/champions/videos/zoneoverview">Video:
    Champions Online Zone Flyovers
    Ten Ton Hammer brings you videos of all the cool places to visit in
    Champions Online. If you are thinking about buying the game, and want
    to see where you can go; or if you have the game, and want to know what
    you are getting into before you go there. These videos will show it all
    to you.


Hottest Content:

  1. First
    Ever Look at PvP in The Secret World
  2. Aion's
    Lani Blazier on 1.5, Pre-Launch Improvements, and More
  3. EVE
    - Sins of a Solar Spymaster #26 – The Doomsday Epitaph
  4. Fallen
    : Exclusive Interview on Factions, Beta and Beyond
  5. The
    Future of Tyria: An Exclusive Guild Wars 2 Interview
  6. Making
    a Classic - An Interview with Dragon Age's Lead
    Designer Mike Laidlaw
  7. LotRO
    Siege of Mirkwood Sneak Peak Interview Video with Jeffrey Steefel
  8. Hands-On
    with Star Trek Online at PAX 2009
  9. New
    in-game screenshots from The Secret World
  10. Images
    and Impressions of Global Agenda at PAX 2009

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Pirates of the Burning Sea Game Page.

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