Greedy Goblin

Monday, August 1, 2011

Faction based PvP games

There are faction based PvP games. None of them were any successful. Tol Barad shown clearly why: if there is some kind of faction-balancer, like limiting the amount of people in the battlefield, or some tenacity-like buff, the most effective way to win is to make the worst players on your team leave. In TB we mostly win by recruiting dumb horde on their trade and yelling on the morons who fight on the road or go to a tower.

Therefore a faction based PvP game by its nature is hostile to new and casual players, and of course the dumb people, limiting the possible playerbase seriously.

I doubt that even the very limited faction-based PvP of Tol Barad is "fun" for most people. It's definitely fun for us devastating poor hordies, but the fun comes from enjoying a meta-game, and not the game itself. It's definitely less fun to the hordies. It's not at all fun to us when too many lolkids sign up on our side and we can start over the yelling and reporting and threatening instead of playing.

It is most frustrating to PvE players who just want to go Occu'thar. They can either hope and wait, or join the battle, making their side even weaker (and if they are on our side, get some yells). Considering how hard it was to equalize Tol Barad, I'd say Blizzard will abandon the idea.

PvP games need some kind of ladder system, where equally strong teams are matched. It is impossible to do in an MMO where the sides are based on creating a character.


Danthe said...

There is also 1 more factor:
Class composition of the attacking / defending side.

If you get good players, but not enough healers you can as well just say goodbye to your success in TB (or similar).

This is also true for random BG-s where simply by looking at the amount of healers on both side gives you good estimation of the match outcome (unless one side completely outplays other).

maxim said...

Just because something is hard to implement doesn't mean it's impossible or unnecessary.

The reason Blizz went through with originally WG and now TB was because originally some Blizz "systems designer" had this crazy idea for a dedicated world pvp zone, and then he was able to convince his superiors that the development cost of such a feature would be less than extra subscription revenue / retention this feature provides.

If we assume that "Blizzard doesn't make mistakes, they make billions" mantra is true, than WG, TB and what else can have you are all here to stay.


The interesting question is how fun the whole thing is actually for the lolkids and pve players you need to yell at. Every single competitive community i have known so far has been highly newbie-intolerant.

If you don't know proper build orders and are slow with your mouse in a competitive RTS (which is immediately apparent when seen and indicates lack of preparation as much as enchants do in wow), you will get abused a lot as you lose, and will occasionally get abuse even as you win due to better strategic decisions.

And yet people stay, play and try to get better. Willingly. Therefore it must be fun.

So bottom line is - TB does a horrible job at separating skilled from unskilled and rewarding individual performance. But the floor is still open on how fun it is for people involved.

Azuriel said...

I will assume you mean "other than WoW," in terms of success. Or perhaps you define success differently.

The implicit assumption here is that Blizzard desires a perfectly balanced, popular world PvP activity every ~2.5 hours. Maybe that is their grand goal, but the simple fact that people continue to use TB at all is a rather wild success on their part. Your guild continues to participate for reasons other than the express ones (honor, access to BH/dailies), as do the Horde despite them losing all the time. So... what is the problem? People utilizing the function, no matter how imbalanced or dumb the function is in the abstract, is a win for Blizzard. TB is only unsuccessful when nobody goes there.

Besides, no one really wants "fair" games.

Carson 63000 said...

Couldn't you have left the "faction" out of that, just said "PvP by its nature is hostile to new and casual players", and had an equally correct argument?

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel: not necessarily. WoW is a large game and people can be "forced" to do hated content as long as they get access to liked one or simply rewards.

In this case a feature can decrease customer satisfaction without leading to abandoning the feature. Most people keep doing it unhappily, few leave the game completely (obviously not only because of this one feature)

@Carson: in EVERY game the newbie suck. However being defeated in a game, especially when you are new is not as hostile than verbal abuse and rejection from YOUR TEAMMATES. A newbie rightfully expects that he will get better, so can expect fun despite defeats at the start. However he can't expect fun when the people around him call him names and want him out.

Anonymous said...

The only way I see it becoming possible to balance RvR is if first when you join you are forced to stay in a certain spec and gear for the entire match. From there buffs can be balanced at a personal level taking into account previous pvp success vs group composition. Groups would also have to have fixed spots meaning if someone leaves they are not replaced and buffs are not changed. It would have to stay 1vs1obviously for balance

From this you would get a far more balanced fight be it possible for some players to rarely get in if there specific class type has a large amount and the other faction does not.

The only way I see this system failing is if people were able to start farming people to to poor coordination at which people would likely go afk which since they aren't replaced would make for an easy victory for the team farming.

Masterlooter said...

PvP games need some kind of ladder system, where equally strong teams are matched.

Replace "teams" with "individuals" and you've got it right.
The success of a group is just the summation of many actions at the individual level.

That's why you kick (or ostracize now, since you can not kick) poor individuals from TB. The group may be winning at the moment, but the actions of a few individuals can cost you the match.

Anonymous said...

That makes sense.

Which is why I don't understand why people bother much with WoW PvP. it just seems like Blizzard could spend their resources more productively elsewhere.

I know PvE people who are quite unimpressed when their class is nerved because of PvP reasons.

Anonymous said...

People must specify their role before they join a BG (not a rated or arena!) or a world PvP. Then, you get an equal amount of same spec inside. So for example, you can join TB with only 2 healers. If a horde healer queues, he will only be able to join once another alliance alliance healer queues too rendering 3 healers in the BG. This way you can end up with 1 or 4 healers in a random BG but you will never have an unequal amount.

Granted, this does not deal with people who have no PvP gear. Simple fix to that: flag gear PvP, PvE, or both. Tier PvE pieces are clearly PvE flagged. Unheeded Warning both. Only allow people who have PvP or items flagged for both in the PvP event.

maxim said...

I'd say that the thing that keeps people playing is not content that they love, but rather a good variety of content to do.

I LOVE Final Fantasy IV. But over 4 playthroughs there is nothing of interest left for me in it.

TB adds variety, therefore helps people stay in the game. Therefore they play it even if they lose it.

Think back to ancient olden times when some people played multi-hour AVs, even if they already had the exalted thing.

You don't need to be successful at something to enjoy doing it.

Daavos said...

Why even have factions anymore for pvp battlegrounds?

Just split the players into a mix of alliance and horde players and put a flag on each player to show their team.

Theruling said...

I agree with the comments about not being Horde/Alliance separated anymore, but rather simply assigning someone a team.

Blizzard can implement a role requirement on dungeon queues because there is a standard. 3 DPS, a tank, and a healer. In a battleground there is no standard to say..well we want this team to have X-healers before the instance is opened. That's why they don't do it. Also gaming of the system would be horrible. Queue as a healer for faster BG pops..and then just play on as Shadow once you are in. People do this for dungeon queues but are quickly oust as levels raise.

Anonymous said...

not true,Factio based games r very popular and successful perfect example is a game called Shaiya,Aeria games the host of it has ruined the ecomy and killed the game in many ways but ppl still flood to teh game for the pvp,WoWs faction based pvp is very good imo grant it there r flaws liek in every game but in turn those flaws at times make it a good game