PvP and faulty thinking – How to learn all the wrong lessons

From a comment:

What’s important about it is that it tells us that if you want massive sales of PvP, then you need to be looking at CTF/deathmatch style PvP, not “massively” PvP. Massively PvP goes against what makes real PvP good and great and fun.

There are devs out there who want to make PvP games, and they think they can compete with WoW for marketshare. They’re wrong.

Wow. This scores a new record in superficiality and flawed logic. Sadly, in this industry, it’s the norm. Hey “kfsone”, you could make a career as a mmorpg manager instead of a programmer, you have a talent there.

Let’s start from a comment from Arthur Parker:

WoW Europe has

67 PVE servers 4 showing high population & 6 showing low
107 PVP servers 34 showing high population & 12 showing low

This confirms even more both my points.

The first is that the players are giving there a clear sign. They want the PvP and there’s indeed a demand for it. Even more in Europe than in the USA. This is in fact not surprising and there are deep cultural reasons that I’ll examine another time. Another small proof of this is that, for example, DAoC is currently much more successful in Europe than how it is in the USA.

The distinctive trait between a PvE and a PvP server is the “world PvP” in which the majority of the players are involved before they reach the endgame. More than half the players, in the case of Europe, have chosen a PvP server. And for one single reason: world PvP. This is *undeniable*, no matter how much you spin it.

Those numbers from Europe, if they are true, are really surprising.

Then there’s my second point. I said that there are trends that define the population on PvP and PvE servers. These trends are general and not specific to a single game. On the PvP servers the players tend to converge on fewer servers because they want active communities. Instead in the PvE servers the players diverge and tend to spread much more because the competition becomes a negative issue.

These theories are directly confirmed by what Arthur Parker posted (if it’s true). The PvE servers have only four high population servers and six low. This because they are spread more evenly as the result of the divergence. Instead the PvP servers have 34 high population servers and 12 low. See the sharp highs and lows? This is because of the convergence. High popluation PvP servers continue to attract MORE players. While semi-empty servers tend to move to a chronic status because noone wants to play there.

Now let’s examine the other argument that wants the “counterstrike style PvP” more successful and even more “potentially successful” than “world PvP”.

As I wrote, this is similar to the claim that wants the hardcore PvE raids as popular and successful. They really are? No they are not. This is an imposed situation that it is obvious to anyone that remotely has an idea of what a game is. It’s the GAME DESIGN that defines what is popular and successful. Not the players. The players can only adapt and optimize the game. The players play the game by revealing its true rules. (see reference)

Let’s make a basic example.

There are two groups of mobs. A group of goblins and a group of rats. The group of goblins yelds you zero experience points, the group of rats yelds you 100 experience points each.

The game launches and the players, oh – what a surprise, go fight only rats and ignore the goblins.


What is WoW’s PvP system about? No, it’s not fighting against each other. It’s about *personal power growth*. Or the itemization wouldn’t have such a MAJOR impact on a PvP fight.

In the same way it happens with the hardcore PvE raids, the players do them because there aren’t WORTHWHILE ALTERNATIVES to improve their characters and NOT because they love them:

I am a raider, I’m in a raiding guild, but like many raiders in raiding guilds, I don’t really LIKE raiding. It’s a huge pain in the ass. If there was an alternate means to grow our characters, many of us would take it.

How many raids would be left if epic items were available through? What the players REALLY do prefer?

What is WoW about? What is the WHOLE GAME ABOUT? The answer is: achieving more power. At the beginning there are levels and skills. Then there’s the phat loot. WoW’s endgame is ALL about the phat loot and the access to it.

What is this game about? Optimizing access to the phat loot. Achieve it in the simplest way possible. It’s the game that DICTATES the goals that the players pursue. Such is the nature of a game.

Now let’s look specifically at the PvP. As for the PvE the PvP is just another pattern to achieve more power. In the current game there are two mechanics involved with thr power growth and PvP:
– Grind Honor to reach the high ranks and get rewards
– Grind factions to get rewards

BOTH these systems are UNAVAILABLE in the “world PvP”.

The first is unavailable because thanks to the diminished returns and the way the open zones are unreliable, it’s just not possible to compete in the honor system without grinding the battlegrounds FULL TIME.

The second is unavailable because the PvP factions (and their rewards) DON’T EVEN EXIST outside the battleground instances.

So why there are more players engaged in the BG PvP than those who do “world PvP”? Because this game is about the phat loot. And there are only two fucking ways to get the phat loot:
1- Raids
2- Honor or PvP factions

It’s not a surprise that the players just go to raids and BGs. There is no fucking alternative available. Or you adapt or you are OUT. WoW doesn’t offer anything else. The players who would enjoy the “world PvP” would be required to forget the defined goals of the game to just go PvP without any tangible reward. Just because they want so. Even if the game doesn’t support that kind of gameplay.

Quoting from Raph, again. The players go after the power-up. The players “see past fiction”.

WoW is all about a personal power growth. The PvP is nothing about PvP and ALL about achieving more power. There’s VERY LITTLE SKILL INVOLVED since the power differential gained through items is so HUGE.

The players see “past fiction”. Which means that they see in BOLD, FLUORESCENT LETTERS that even the PvP is all about who has the biggest dick. So they have one choice, which is obviously not a choice: adapt.

Let’s do an experiment and see how this fucking deathmatch style PvP is really more popular than world PvP. Let’s REMOVE all honor points and factions when you fight in a BG. Instead let’s put a fucking flag in the middle of an open zone and let the players gain faction and honor if they fight in the proximity of that flag.

Then we’ll see how many continue to go in the BGs, and how many move to the world PvP.

As I’ve already wrote, you cannot COMPARE anything without putting both options on equal footing. This is like Saddam Hussein winning the elections because there’s just ONE FUCKING NAME to vote. There is no choice that you can make. There’s just the game and the direction it tells you to follow. You can just see what the game is about. You can just try to “win”. And you don’t win through skill, you win through phat loot.

You cannot compare the world PvP to the BattleGrounds because world PvP IS NOT SUPPORTED by Blizzard. While the BGs are.

They don’t give any fucking alternative and what is left is that original, strong demand from the players:
67 PVE servers
107 PVP servers

For a type of PvP that Blizzard has continued to ignore. For the value that is left after Kalgan fucked the whole thing with his brilliant ideas.

Deathmatch style PvP isn’t “what makes real PvP good and great and fun”. It’s just the only “option” that you have to swallow. And this doesn’t say anything about a “preference”. Nor it’s a demonstration of success.

It’s just a demonstration of shortsightedness and manipulation.

16 thoughts on “PvP and faulty thinking – How to learn all the wrong lessons

  1. after a year of playing WoW, i quit…

    1) PvP BG system is no fun at all
    2) end-game raiding feels kinda as a second job – no more fun in that (more instances -> more raid days needed -> less sleep….etc)

    i quit in february and now i’m considering a return, but not for the actual game, but for the guild i’ve been playing with…i miss the community…

    however, i’m eagerly awaiting warhammer online from the creators of DAoC where the PvP system should kick some serious butt.

    we’ll see…

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