Pantheon, PvP, launch vs. post.launch

  • Pantheon, PvP, launch vs. post.launch

    PvP in Pantheon
    Especially in resposne to the polls and data that EQ’s choice of optional PvP was part of it winning big

    Co-op, interdependence, teamwork -- it's still time to put the E back in PvE and in a bigger way than has been done before, a much bigger way. PvP is great for many players and will always be important with a focus on balance & fun, but Pantheon's foundation remains PvE with PvP always an option and a choice.

    Hey, thanks all for listening and then opining. I could see someone read the first part of this and somehow conclude that we don't feel PvP is important and/or that we wouldn't launch without PvP support. Both are wrong. In fact, our approach is IMHO the right one and the one that guarantees (as much as cam be) a bright future for PvP in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. By first building a solid, albeit PvE foundation and now focussing on the features that really give Pantheon its identity (obviously important from a PR and messaging standpoint) we not only get to Alpha, we get to the next PA (obviously before Alpha).

    But we are setting up the game such that the power level of any given character in PvE is independent from their power level in PvP thereby avoiding the long, frustrating, difficult chore of trying to, say, up the Paladin’s power for PvE, but at the same time braking the class (say, making it clearly OP) in PvP.  We need to be able to do the one without messing up the other. Vice versa also works, where we can tweak PvP without jacking up PvE.

    This comes from having done this so many times, dating all the way back to EQ vs UO. Nothing’s changed - in fact I'm more sure of my convictions if that's possible.

    I think building PvP on top of PvE really makes a lot of sense. I could go into crazy detail, but let me bring up one huge one (other than balancing): There is a LOT of time invested by PvP-focused players on doing PvE. They need to advance. They need to work on factions. They need to see how their character is progressing in terms of PvE. They are welcome and we certainly want nothing else but that they also enjoy the PvE as well. Lastly it will help PvPers find items, armor, etc. and earning better and better gear. Not to mention trainers being scattered across the land.

    Then, moreover, we need to invest in PvP. I think at launch we will have at least one PvP server, with an emphasis on open PvP. That’s at minimum, btw – I hope to have more variants.  I'm just guessing here based on what I internally am aware of, specifically the game, where it's at, and what we need to get done to get to alpha, beta, release, and post-release.

    Secondly, there are a lot of fantastic PvP rulesets that the community itself has come to us with and expressed to us. Quite honestly, there's been some really interesting innovation recently with MMOs and other genres. So, I want people to know, to be absolutely clear, that PvP is extremely important to us. I'd love to see servers with a variety of PvP implementations, some of it pretty advanced and interesting enough to get even ME to try it out and invest some real time into.

    Like I said, it's about getting the fundamentals down, establishing the game as something new (not retro, not niche). We've done that, and the reactions have been very positive. Now, though, as so many things fluctuate during these long development cycles, we need SHOW not SAY what Pantheon is all about, how it plays, letting key people experience it, get PA happening. And lastly, poised to take us to Alpha (that roadmap certainly exists and has been revised and built upon for quite some time.  I feel good about it, especially at the higher level – things are broken down more granularly as they get closer).

    So I started with PvP/PvP because I didn't want me pointing only to the fact that it was the right call long ago, that PVE in EQ thrived while UO peeps struggled (many of the devs are my friends and all over the industry, so what I say is with an abundant amount of respect and appreciation – UO brought so much, broke so much ground, etc.). But they did stick to their guns with PvP. There's no getting around that. I’d experienced both in MUDs, and knew I wanted to do PvE (there is some speculation that it was EQ that reacted to UO -- this is NOT true - Steve Clover and I had played a variety of MUDs years before this and had already made up our minds -- we did not make EQ PvE just to make the game different than UO). Steve and I had already made the decision before we really know what UO was all about). It was one of the bigger reasons EQ was such an immediate success and that UO started drying up because in crude PvP. it's really was the wolves fighting over the sheep. The exodus (although to be fair, UO was still in good shape even after EQ's launch -- it's not like we decimated them, nor does one typically see an MMO, especially short term, damage too much another MMO) then happened.

    Bottom line, though, most players are PvE. Was true back then and it's true now. I've seen some credible data that PvP is growing, and I would contribute that to the PvP in MMOs and other living world games having evolved and maturing. More options are available. Some of it more self-policing. Bottom line: PvP in MMOs has become better, significantly better, in the last 15 years for a variety of reasons I'm not going to go in here – that would take another write-up and I’d want to include one or more of my teammates to contribute.

    That very fact, that it's growing, means that we over here at VR need to pay heed and make sure those Pantheon future fans are taken care of. And before you think this is simply a promotion-oriented scenario, I will also remind you that several on the team are full on PvP fans and they can't wait to add that layer on top of the foundation. We even have some pretty sweet ideas as to how to move things forward (e.g. some new ideas as it relates to PvP). There are PvP mindsets steeped in tradition and passion -- we always create that way, sticking to the Vision(TM).

    Bottom line:  PvP is super important. It must be built on a solid PvE foundation. It is important to us despite the history of EQ vs UO. I made the right call back then, but it's also not 1999. Things have changed, demographics have adjusted (though not nearly to the claim that all MMO players want casual, want to solo everything, don't care about communities and shared experiences). Not, not at all. People don’t change that much from generation to generation, especially when it comes to entertainment (movies/games). Some principles are timeless and there are always X% of players who just love PvE, many with optional PvP). And, in addition to our core community, the ones patiently sticking with us, and mostly not too worried we're going make a game they'll enjoy (because they enjoyed the last two, at minimum).

    Many are concerned as to how long we’ve been mostly dark -- we hear that loud and clear and are in the process of address that very issue. Anyway, so in addition to those people, the first Fantheons, spreading the importance to the game, the feedback you give us, the word of mouth, the pledging -- you guys are awesome.  And this is just the beginning of us re-connecting with the community and showing progress.

    I just want to say, though, that despite the incredible importance of our existing, core community, we need to broaden our audience, reach more people, and up the support and recognition the game is getting and should get in the future. And I wanted to make sure that both the PvE and PvP community understand where we are at. Not to mention there's all of you PvP and also PvE people, because the both are hardly mutually exclusive. Purely PvP, I just so rarely see it. Instead I see, for example, how co-op is huge, and I love it, because I think many of those will also like MMO/living world games. I think it’s surged as of late too. But there are still those purely PvP who still want a reliable group or squad and desires most highly invading the opponent’s base to fight it out over serous stakes, not just a leader board. So purely PvP to whom none of these social fabrics are appealing – rare but perhaps this MMO is not for them (not that I don’t want them to try it – they may indeed realize there’s more to gaming than ganking). They may realize it and end up enjoying combat, background & lore, learning about the world, etc. Some PvPers may not care at all about the battle royale stuff.  Rarely do you find one not interested in both, PvE and PvP, mostly around making groups and guilds, etc. In fact, making friends and finding people to whom you can award trust – that’s key in PvE, but possibly even more important in PvP. I think most people like a lot of the above. And I really don’t think I’m wrong about this.

    Lastly, and this is important, the plan to include one PvP server at launch is just that:  a plan made way before a lot of things have to happen, before we get the feedback in alpha and beta, etc.  So, I just want to emphsize that this plan is NOT set in stone but more of a train of thought that has been coalescing inside of me for quite some time.  I’m proud of the PvP efforts we made with EQ.  I just think, especially now, that we can take it so much further.  And I need you guys who are PvP fans to know this.  But then also know that we have to build it on top of a PvE foundation.  I don’t want you to see very little effort going towards PvP and assume we don’t care.  Thanks for reading.

     'nuff said -- feel free to ask questions.

    -Brad "Aradune Mithara" McQuaid


  • Ezrael
    Ezrael You're absolutely right about the PvE before PvP comment. No matter the ruleset there needs to be an excellent base PvE game to play to make the PvP worth it. PvP without PvE is just an FFA deathmatch.

    With amazing PvE there's a reason for faction...  more
    October 3, 2019 - 3 like this
  • trakanon
    trakanon Brad having experienced open world EQ pvp back in the day on live and then doing it again in project1999 red for several years, I completely support the idea of focusing on PvE and rolling out an open PvP server for player-base who value the option of...  more
    October 6, 2019 - 2 like this
  • Mateowanna
    Mateowanna I am a PvE enthusiast player, who only seeks to help others & traditionally get roasted in PvP. Yet, I pray for a Rallos Zek PvP style server where players decide who, when, & where to attack players. When you meet other players, groups, &...  more
    January 2, 2020 - 1 likes this
  • Kaynrath
    Kaynrath Vanguard PvP was the absolute best mmorpg experience I've ever had. Top notch PvE immersive world with open PvP mostly everywhere. The PvE content was already quite challenging compared to other MMOs at the time(and today), and on top of that you also...  more
    August 16, 2021