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Top 10 PvP MMOGs

Posted Thu, Feb 11, 2010 by mattlow

PvP has become a central part of any good MMOG. In fact, there are many players who play PvP almost exclusively as compared to the PvE content of the game world. My only comment is: who can blame them? The thrill of ganking some unsuspecting player fills me with joy. I know it's wrong, but I can't help it. Even though I enjoy raiding and exploring as much as the next person, there is something special about beating another player. There are few things better than knowing you are better than someone else, and it is even better when you get to laugh at them and dance on their poor weak-skilled dead bodies. But with so many pay-to-play MMOGs out there, which ones are the best for ultimate pwnage? Submitted for your approval is my list of the top ten PvP MMOGs.

10. Lord of the Rings Online
Lord of The Rings Online introduced a new form of PvP, called PvM (Player vs Monster). The idea here is that players would not fight other players in a Lord of The Rings setting, so the developers had to find some way to let players face each other. Their answer was to allow players to create monsters that could fight players in certain areas. Monsters are not as strong as player characters, but players can strengthen them with Infamy and Destiny points, which they gain by killing players. While not a complex system, it's an interesting take on PvP, and one that works with the lore of the game. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a monster?

9. Age of Conan
Decapitations! That's all I should have to say here. You can decapitate enemy players. Let me say that again, "You can decapitate enemy players!" Great combination moves, stealth, mounted combat, and a robust combat system makes Conan a real treat for PvP. Blood actually splatters across your screen as it erupts from the necks of your foes. You can't ask for more than that. (Oh, and did I mention decapitations?) However, ranged classes sometimes have an advantage due to fewer keys to push for those awesome combo moves. (By Crom, the dev who thought that  differing amounts of keystrokes for different classes was ok should be punished for eternity!) If it wasn’t for the button pushing imbalance, I would have ranked AOC higher on my list. Decapitations!

8. Guild Wars
Guild Wars has a fun and lighthearted PvP system. While lighthearted is seldom linked with PvP, it does work here. Players can enter PvP zones and participate in several different types of PvP. From gladiator style arena fights, to full alliance battles that shape the borders of the world, Guild Wars provides fun and interesting PvP for players of all skill levels.

7. Lineage 2
Lineage 2 was built on PvP. Almost everything in the game relies on what happens with PvP. Lineage uses a Karma system to reward and punish players for their actions. Kill someone and you gain Karma; gain enough Karma and you turn red, meaning other players can kill you without consequences. The only way to work off your Karma is to get out there and kill mobs. So it's a constant balancing act of deciding who to attack, and making sure you can work off your Karma. Or learn how to run real fast!

6. Aion
Aion took PvP in a new and interesting direction by adding in PvPvE. In Aion, players fight each other over fortress and map locations in the Abyss. This is your basic PvP fare, much like you’ll find in many other games out there. What Aion does that is unique, though, is add a third computer controlled faction into the mix. When one side takes a location, not only will enemy players defend it, but monsters under the control of AI will also attack, making the point harder to hold onto. This adds a twist for players who will now find it more difficult to hold a location than it was to take it.

5. Warhammer Online
Warhammer Online is a PvP dream. Few other games give you the ability to advance entirely through PvP. WAR breaks down the PvP by areas to keep veterans from ganking newbs, but outside of that, you can PvP to your heart’s content. With keeps to capture, scenarios to play, and cities to besiege, Warhammer Online gives players several different ways to get their PvP fix. There’s no better sight than to see snotty High Elves and Dwarves fleeing in terror from your mighty Orc rage! I love PvP in WAR, but I had to list it at number five since PvP in the later tiers (mainly tier 4) isn’t as fun as in the earlier tiers. Plus, crowd control becomes a huge issue as you progress through the tiers.

4. Planetside
Take a great First Person Shooter, mix it with an MMOG, and what do you get? Planetside! Planetside is one of those games you just can't help but keep coming back to every few months; it never gets old. Running around, hopping in tanks and planes, and blowing the crap out of each other, is just great fun. No “go out and collect10 toe nail” quests here. Just killing, and proving your skill over your opponents. It is simply a fun game that matches you up against hundreds of other players to see who gets bragging rights. Why quest when you can be killing?

3. Darkfall
This one is for you old school Ultima Online fans. If you love the rush of stabbing someone in the back as they fight mobs, or love the thrill of always having to watch for that guy trying to stab you in the back while you fight mobs, then Darkfall is a game you must check out. Unlike PvP in many other games, in Darkfall, you can attack another player almost anywhere. It is one of the most open PvP systems out there, and you better have thick skin, and some mad skills to hang with the players here. With that said, it can be quite rewarding to drop that bastard who attacked you from behind believing you were an easy kill. If you want a hardcore PvP game, Darkfall is hard to beat. If you can’t handle the constant tension, I suggest you play the Care Bear Snuggly Happy Forest MMOG coming out soon. The only thing to fear there is hugs.

2. Eve Online
This one isn't for amateurs. Eve Online is one seriously bad ass PvP game. With an open sand box style, players must rely on their corporations (guilds) for survival. Where the player-driven economy is such a driving force that corporations fight tooth and nail for control over resources, you better always be looking over your shoulder. Eve does this so well it is one of the very few MMOGs that continue to gain new subscribers as time goes on. I put Eve Online at number two due to the fact that the sand box style open PvP nature of the game really rocks. Player driven corporations really drive the action in this game, with the constant fighting over resources. Plus, you can’t beat spaceship combat!

1. Dark Age of Camelot
Perhaps the finest example of PvP in an MMOG to date. Dark Age of Camelot gives you what most other games with PvP don't--a reason to do it. With their keep sieges, and relic captures that provide bonuses to the side that captures them, DAOC gives you a tangible reward for PvP. Between this, their 3 faction system that helps make sure one side does not dominate a server, and their siege weapons that are deployable anywhere in the PvP zones, Dark Age still reigns supreme in PvP. This is PvP done right! I am frankly stunned that no other company has used DAOC’s template for 3 faction PvP to keep players engaged on their server and to cut down on server migration of characters.

Conclusion
Well, there you have it folks. The top ten PvP MMOGs on the market today. When you get tired of doing that same raid for the 50th time, and you want to try something really challenging, grab one of these games and give it a go. I’ll be waiting to gank you...I mean help you when you get there.

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