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PvP for People Who Aren't Asshats
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Something of a carryover from the GW2 forums, but as a general topic of game design theory:
* A game can be judged by how much chatter it generates between players on forums like this one.
* Lack of chatter means a game, however fun, is becoming routine, which will translate into "boring" eventually.
* What are the secrets to creating a game that's interesting enough to generate a lot of chatter between players 4 months after launch?

SWTOR, for example, died quickly with relatively little chatter generated. There just wasn't a lot to talk about. Early on you talk about your class and class interaction and tips on leveling and zones but after 4 months that's all been hashed over. Nothing more to discuss. You might still be logging in and playing and having fun but there's nothing to talk about. ("Today I logged in and had a great time doing basically the same thing I did yesterday.")


I have a growing suspicion that what you need to keep a game interesting are goals that require a minimum of 24 hours to achieve. For example, no matter how interesting a particular Stonemist Castle battle might be, it's not going to generate much chatter because it's a fleeting thing. It starts and ends one way or another over the course of a couple of hours and unless there's something really new that someone is doing (trebuchet in a spot you hadn't seen before), there's not much to talk about.

Pirates of the Burning Sea was probably the best game for this. Day-to-day strategy could change based on the state of port ownership and which ones were under attack. If my oak production port is being attacked tomorrow, we may have to discuss what to do about oak if we lose it. We may have to discuss which areas we should patrol and which areas we should attack tomorrow because it's not going to be the same as today. What's more (something EVE lacks here), the actual combat mechanics are interesting enough (and get tweaked by the devs frequently enough) that there's usually something to discuss there: dealing with rageboarders or stern campers or what's the new hot ship this month. Battles were also lengthy and costly so it was kind of a big deal -- it was worth discussing if you could pick up a new tip that would save from you losing an expensive ship.

POTBS never really became routine. (The only reason I quit, really, was the need to always have exactly 6 players online... I never got bored with it, it's just that sometimes I'd log in and not be able to play.)

Games like Rift and GW2 will always have their days numbered because ultimately you just run out of things to talk about. (And half of Rift discussion was actually just bitching over raid rules so I'm not sure that should count.) Even if the games are fun and mechanically interesting to PLAY, it's too minute-by-minute to really come to the forums to discuss, which means it's starting to become routine and "fun" + "routine" will become "boring" eventually.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:16 pm 
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I agree on the 6v6. The ship stat changing was fustrating to me especially as a national since you usually have replacement deeds for PvPing. If those deeds became outdated, then it was a waste.

Port battles too were a pain because ultimately it was a RvR game and if your 24+ member guild is doing the RvR and only 4 get into the actual battle, it got annoying.
---------------

I've debated about going back to PotBS but really think they need to implement either a larger PvP radius or make it full PvP. The more I think about a full PvP map the more intense I think it would be with much more tactics and port hopping needed.

---------------

PS2 unfortunately is falling into the not much forum chatter. I think it will lose its luster pretty quickly and honestly its already has started for me (even though I put some money into it). For an RvR game it really lacks overall strategy and is mostly a blitzing campaign.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Does the rumbling about a game equal in value of the amount of things at stake in the game? For us it is PVP games but for others PVE games with a lot at stake have more verbal value.

While this year for example we have had some good pvp mechanics games like GW2 and PS2. Neither of those games are great. If their was a point to the pvp in either of those games and they had greater strategic value one might have much more to discuss.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:32 am 
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I was also thinking that there are two ways to play a game:

* "Just have fun." There's not much to talk about but it's still a fun game you can sit down and enjoy playing. I would say that almost every console and the majority of single player games are like this. People loved Skyrim but it didn't generate a lot of chatter. Everyone loves Halo but what do you talk about? Gameplay is straightforward and fun. I'm sure there are a lot of people who play EVE and Battleground Europe like this too. They don't read forums, they don't really chat much about it, they just play for fun.

* Deeper gameplay. You're looking at maps, making plans of attack, thinking about contingencies, analyzing the stats and figuring out long term plans. This is where you can get a lot of chatter. Of course, the game has to support this by HAVING "deeper gameplay". Most console games don't. Planetside (1&2) don't. EVE does, if you choose to get into that aspect of it, as does POTBS.


It's hard to say that the second is a better way to play games than the first, but I think if you don't have the "deeper gamelay" then it's going to be hard to go long term. Everyone loved Skyrim. For about 1-2 months. Then you were done and that was that. Everyone loves console games. For about 1-2 months. Then you're onto the next game. I think if you want a game that can go for 2 years, you need a game that people can sit down and "just have fun" but additionally it needs some deeper strategic element that can help the "just fun" part from becoming routine.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:23 pm 
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the first reply in this GW2 thread sure had a lot to say: http://www.ehmry.com/topic/1729-wvw-4-jan-opener-eb-yb-db/

some people at least are finding a lot to talk about in GW2.

-ken

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Snowreap wrote:
the first reply in this GW2 thread sure had a lot to say: http://www.ehmry.com/topic/1729-wvw-4-jan-opener-eb-yb-db/

some people at least are finding a lot to talk about in GW2.

-ken



How is it relative to other games?



I am finding Slamz thoughts interesting. Is chatter/buzz equal to the quality of a game or just the depth of a game? Depth doesn't always equate to quality. Quality doesn't always equate to fun.

What does the buzz mean?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:51 pm 
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well, you wouldn't typically see that much discussion for PlanetSide 2.

you might see that kind of strategizing in PotBS, but the difference there is that in PotBS your opponents were pretty much the same map to map (unless a big society decided to change sides between rounds) so the discussion would be more about improving our strategies against the same opponents, rather than how to modify our strategies to handle different opponents (and a different *combination* of opponents) which is what happens in GW2.

for those who can't access the ehmry.com forums, here's the post I'm referring to:
Quote:
Honestly, this one is going to take some strategy.

Frankly, when Maguuma fought DB and Yak's bend they played the correct strategy perfectly and came out in first because of it.

What's nice about this match up is that we are going to wake up to a DB colored map and not a Yak colored map which means that Yak's bend will primarily only be a threat during the day unlike right now where they essentially own all of eternals all night giving them a huge point advantage.

DB will have this advantage this time, but from what I last saw and I've heard their NA coverage isn't that great.

To win this match up there are some very important things we need to do.

During the day we need to amass as many points as possible ("Daycapping" Dragonbrand will help a lot with this), Keep Yak's Bend's borderlands as degraded as possible, and work at keeping our Borderland's fully upgraded and fully decked out in siege. We may end up losing everything at night, but those upgrades could very well be the difference between DB striking us or Yak's Bend first and being able to hold on until the calvery shows up.

At night, we need to Bunker...hard. We want to present our area as the hardest spot on the field so that DB is incentive to attack Yak's Bend first. When we played DB last I seem to remember that they hate ANY form of resistance. They would rather retreat and look for a softer spot and quickly take something with their sheer numbers then try to engage in a prolonged battle. We can NOT get offensive happy at night, try to attack something, wipe to their zerg, then lose half the map as we are all running back to defend the 5 towers they just took.

From what I remember they also love Omega golems and shooting walls.

Another important thing I noticed while playing them last time is that they generally prioritize Eternal's first, wipe the map, then move on to other borderlands. The longer you hold them in eternals the longer you can keep them out of the borderlands

For opening, I expect Yak to open similar to how they did last week, just with Maguuma not nipping at our heels and ganking all of our dolyaks at the same time. I expect the bay to be perfectly holdable against DB if they send anyone at all. We very well have the opportunity to clear our borderlands quickly if we hold the CL invasion at our Hills while the force that is holding bay works their way towards their spawn tower and works at cutting off their supply.

We probably only need a relatively small group to go and "daycap" Dragonbrand. It might be worth considering a garrison rush right off the bat to decentivize DB then treb down Yak's Bay if they capture it.

Our team in Yak's Bend is going to have their work cut out for them as they have potentially the most important job. They need to keep Yak's BL as un-upgraded as possible while at the same doing so from the Bay spawn. Harass Garrison's supply as much as possible. it shouldn't be that unrealistic to do what Maguuma did last week and kill every dolyak that was heading for Garrison. It might also be worth considering to try and take Hills right off the bat and use that as a base of operations if Dragonbrand decided not to show up. While it is farther from our spawn point it's also going to be the same distance from Yak's spawn point until they get a waypoint in Garrison (which they obviously won't because of all the Dolyak ganking...right?) though if you keep Garrison with little to no supply they will have issues trebbing DB in the first place if you do some effective renovating of Garrison.

In eternals, we need Stonemist and we need Yak shoved off the map as much as possible. I don't think this is unrealistic in the slightest. We won't have Maguuma trying to backdoor every attack opportunity we make and it'll just be a straight up 1v1 vs Yak in eternals. We can win 1v1 vs Yak can't we? From the beginning of the map try to focus on grabbing SM quickly first, then while holding SM against Yak, "daycamp" all of DBs real estate, this should help get supply into SM (this is key to holding SM. Yak won't be able to take SM with 2/3rds the map supply flowing into SM). From there you should only be assaulted from one front (as long as you have a few people stay back and keep Dragonbrand in check). There's no need to rush Yak's portion of eternals down if you hold SM and Dragonbrand's area. Just take it slow and gradually force them off the map. Do not overextend and get wiped. You will probably lose SM if you do so.

In the end this match up is probably going to boil down to how effectively can we shut out Yak during the day and how effectively we can hold off against Dragonbrand during the night.

If you look at the income distribution of their previous matches Dragonbrand logs on and off generally always around the same time. They will start their assault at around 5 AM EST ~ 2 AM PST and then end around 10 AM EST ~ 7 AM PST. We are going to need our property fully fortified and fully sieged to greet them.

Of course most of this assumes that Dragonbrand is as weak during NA primetime as I remember and from what I've heard. If they've gotten stronger in NA primetime and can hold off against us well...gg.


compare that to the amount of discussion a PvE raiding game generates -- similar volume, but there the discussion is about figuring out how to beat scripted boss encounters.

so it's not just a question of "is there something to talk about", but also a question of "are the things to talk about things that your players *want* to talk about?" there's plenty to talk about in RIFT and GW2 but it seems like they're not things that any of us are particularly interested in talking about.

-ken

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Naval Action: Taralin Snow, Snowy Iggles
EQ2: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Taralin, Disruption, Preyz, Taralynne, Snowy, Snowz
ESO: Snowreap, Yellowtail
PS2: Snowreap
GW2: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Preyz, Taralin, Taralynne
RIFT: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Preyz, Taralin, Snowy
PotBS (British): Taralin Snow, Taralynne Snow, Snowy Iggles, Edward Snow
PotBS (Pirate): Taralin Snowden, Taralynne Snowden, Redshirt Snowden
WW2O: Snowreap
WAR: Snowreap, Preyz, Lbz, Leadz, Snowz, Taralin, Snowmeltz, Yellowtail, Snowbankz
APB: Snowreap, Sentenza
STO: Snowreap@Snowreap, Snowz@Snowreap
AoC: Yellowtail, Snowreap, Snowstorm, Redshirt
WoW (Horde): Snowreap, Savagery, Baelzenun, Wickedwendy, Taralin, Disruption, Scrouge, Bette
WoW (Alliance): Yellowtail, Wickedwendy, Snowreap
AC1: Snowstorm, Yellowtail, Shirt Ninja, Redshirt


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:23 pm 
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But all of that discussion is based on a game mechanic of server vs server play. I don't see it as better game because of that discussion. Most decent games have some level of discussions. PotBS had a lot on each port battle won or lost and ww2o had on the fly side chat discussions and battle chat with very little forum chat. Both were decent games but with different mechanics.

So I see discussion as a product of mechanics good or bad. There could be a view that less forum chat means more people actively playing vs chatting.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:26 pm 
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Maybe what chatter really represents is "the individual impact of a dynamic, changing environment". You have to keep the conversation flowing to keep up with changes in the game environment. Ports being taken over. Major oak suppliers dropping out. Or, in PvE, advancing to the next dungeon or gear set.

Lack of conversation means the environment isn't changing much or it is, but not in any way the player has enough input into or cares about enough to discuss. e.g., GW2 WvW has changes but the changes are too rapid to talk about. I can't go to the forums to discuss "the big attack on Ogrewatch" because in the time it takes me to come here and type about it, the battle is over and possibly it's already been flipped back. At the other end of the spectrum, Battleground Europe has things that impact the individual but you are so far removed from them they there's no real input to give, positive or negative. There are changes but you just roll with them because there's no other choice.

POTBS again hits the sweet spot because while taking over a port is a high level decision that an individual may have little say in, once it flips and that oak production goes away, there may be an impact on you, which you, in turn, can effect (oak prices go up, people talk about it on forums, so you make more oak, somewhere else and advertise it on forums).

I do think chatter helps drum up interest and keep it drummed up. To generate chatter, you need a dynamic environment that's not TOO dynamic. Enough impactful change to discuss, but slow enough to give us time to discuss it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:29 am 
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Slamz wrote:
I do think chatter helps drum up interest and keep it drummed up. To generate chatter, you need a dynamic environment that's not TOO dynamic. Enough impactful change to discuss, but slow enough to give us time to discuss it.


I agree. A lot of it depends on the mechanics. Once a playerbase figures out the mechanics and situations become more scripted then a game becomes boring. Even PotBS port battle tactics became fairly static and then it was all about who was there and which ships they were in which became another issue.

So, I think a mark of a good game is that there are mechanics in place that hit that sweet spot of player chatter/interest. Even if those mechanics are good, additional development must take place to promote more talk. If PotBS had new port battle maps added every 6 months to a year, then that aspect of the game would still be interesting. If WW2 online added new historical equipment ever 6-12 months, then the feel of the game in battles would change over the static map. Instead a lot of games get bogged down in the other mechanics (usually balance) to even bother with new development to generate chatter.

My prediction is that GW2 chatter will slowly fade once the servers settle down into a more routine WvW similar to what happened in PotBS RvR strategy and port battle strategy. Then I fear that the development for GW2 will be more geared to get people to purchase from the store vs actually developing the game itself. Personally, I think the DDO (a niche game) F2P concept is the best out there. Pay for new experience or play your life away to get it for free.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Flash Forward 8 months...GW2 is still bringing in WvW skills and items. However..the only really fun night to play on is Server reset night. Since there are no real benefits ( other than some form of World pvp xp ) the rest of the week is kinda predestined by what happens over the weekend.

Overall some good pvp can be found most of the week but the 'rush' of reset night is still the best.

One week is too long for a point accumulation goal.

Dophuz


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:59 pm 
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In line with the original topic, though, GW2's additions have generated very little chatter. They simply aren't interesting additions to the game. The arrow cart abilities generated a LITTLE discussion but nobody cares about any of the rest of that crap. Guard killer bonuses... cannon bonuses... boiling oil bonuses... it's handy, but it's not interesting.

GW2 hasn't given us anything worth talking about in like....since launch. :-p

(I guess if we liked PvE we'd all be atwitter about these story arcs they keep adding but I'm pretty sure most of us give not a single fuck.)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:22 pm 
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It would be nice to get a GW2 reunion together on reset :-) I am still playing. IF you enjoyed PvE it might be different. Running WvW over and over with the same maps does get a bit old. I do like the added WvW ranks. I have heard rumors of new maps... but who knows.

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