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PvP, PvE, and balance

 
#5021
3 years 2 months ago
I'd had talked with people who were in support of City of heroes pvp 1.0 and hated pvp 2.0 friday and thought today I should bring up the topic, first I will say a few things:

Stop having fun guy behavior won't help make pvp better. Just cause you threw lots of hours at one or the other doesn't mean you got a good idea. Pvp 1.0 was as unpopular as pvp 2.0, you may have liked pvp 1.0 but a huge majority of human beings hated CoH pvp 1.0. "MY WAY OR THE HIGH WAY!" mentality is very much the cause of a lot of disdain towards many pvpers likewise. This is about making pvp fun for everyone, not just a few elitists.

Likewise many good games are fun for both casuals and highly skilled players and still have a good pvp experience. A game where only maybe 50 people enjoy it and stomp everyone showing up and shooing them out the door is a game thats dead and not really enjoyable for anyone.

I disliked both pvp 1.0 and 2.0 in CoH.

I loved pvp in guild wars 1, and used to play in arena shooters back in the day.

So with that all said....

First i'll go over pvp 1.0 in City of heroes and why it failed.


PvP 1.0 was when powers in city of heroes worked in pvp as they did in pve. Travels worked the same and had a very, very weak suppression, leading to a bunny hop mentality, players always had breakfrees all over to stop cc from working. Archtypes which weren't exclusively good at raw combat tended to be weak, supportin archtypes could only work in teams, but they could become 100% indestructable with stacking buffs so blasters struggled. Many pvpers would have a second account with a "Pocket empath" buffing a blaster or some damage heavy archtype, effectively using "Pay to win". Many power sets were terrible in pvp in general as were some archtypes. Pvp was in short, poorly balanced and could become lopsided very easily. It may have had some depth, but it also had a curve such you'd have a few elitists dominating and griefing less experienced players and driving them away. It had such a tiny base and no one new could ever get into it. So did it have to change? Yes, unfortunately.....

.....pvp 2.0 was not really any better. Instead of bunny hopping combat you had sluggish slow movement, some powers couldn't counter some things anymore, and the imbalance was even worst. Buffs were soft-capped very hard and cc was very very short(probably the only good change actually). Pvp 2.0's key mistake was trying to make all the AT's the same with only slightly differing stats, but that created poor balance. It may have been newbie frieldy, but it lacked depth ultimately, and it wasn't popular as powers changed to much in pvp.

The good things of pvp 1.0 was it's movement and buffs could work, but it took both to far.

The bad was:
CC was strong enough to force everyone to stack break frees and never enter without them.
Anytime a power was nerfed to bring a power set in line in PvP it affected pve to.

The good things of pvp 2.0 was assuring CC was never an auto-defeat without break frees, while giving enough CC strength to cc classes to 'try' and make them good. Changing a power in pvp or pve did not effect the other.

But the bad was making all AT's the same, effectively, while changing powers so drastically(key word, drastically) people felt like they were trying to play a different game they couldn't be familiar with. In fact, it was a common complaint that some regular powers that did high damage in pve did low in pvp, and things like flurry did huge damage and it was a pool power.

So now I'll go into a game where pvp was popular for a time in fact it was built for pvp, Guild wars.

What separated GW from CoH in terms of pvp? Firstly:

Consistency......While letting pve and pvp numbers differ.

Even when powers in pve and pvp functioned differently, the overall intended use remained the same and the overall effect was comparable. Most of the time powers were very hand-adjusted individually to keep them balanced. This assured powers could be balanced in both and remain consistent in how they'd be used. A lightning power could be made to do more or less damage based on how useful it was, rather than a mechanic which'd likely change something else. This was in far contrast to CoH pvp 2.0; where powers were changed fundamentally.

Cyclical imbalance.

Many MOBA's do this and so do strategy games. Rather than try to make all classes even no matter what, Guild wars and MOBA's had classes designed to be strong vs some classes and weak to others. This means that there is no one perfect character build or strategy like what people would see in pvp 1.0 or 2.0 that CoH had. One character was strong vs one but weak vs another. In strategy games many people often speak of rock/paper/scissors, and it's true to an extent. It isn't always exactly that but in the end perfect balance often leads to only a few "best" strategies being used. Cyclical imbalance assures a meta game changes all the time without compromising actual balance.

Plus it encourages teamplay.

Teamplay was encouraged and strategies were varied yet none were perfect.

In GW1 you often had two kinds of teams based on the above: The specialized team which sticks together as much as possible, and the loose-formation teams which split apart. Both were viable because teams which had to stick together were slower and less mobile, in maps where a lot of territory had to be covered a specialized team would find itself unable to defend everything on the defense. But no matter the team they all had weaknesses. A "Spike" team was weak when an opposing team had a good grasp of who it liked to target. Divide and rule teams needed open maps to work best ect. It depended on the players and coordination.

Guild wars 1 had it's "Foo" strategies(at least for a time).

Ahh, the classic "First order optimal" strategy. What is a FOO strategy? A FOO strategy is one that new players can use to defeat otherwise more skilled players with some level of surprise with little skill. This is because FOO strategies have a lot of power and need very little skill to execute. For example, Call of duties "Noob tube", an underslung grenade launcher. A given there are far, far better weapons, and tactics, but it's there to help a newbie get into the game. FOO strategies for all the power have little stay in the long run, often easily countered once a player knows what it is. A good foo strategy should not likewise make people have a second account like pvp 1.0. But foo strategies should exist: without them you end up with a game that has only a small handful of elite players crushing newbies so fast they never get to like the game, give up and quit.

And guild wars 1 had foo strategies. Such as "IWAY!"(I will avenge you), which buffed a warrior using it whenever anything died. Until it was nerfed, IWAY was very powerful and could trigger on dead pets. Since it made warriors attack fast and just do better for a time, players would roll ranger secondary just to use it. They'd stack a lot of addrenaline, and once full, rather than unleash it on the person they attacked, they'd switch to another person and unleash on them. This was the first "Spike" strategy. And guild wars had many FOO-level spike strategies of simply timing a hard volley of blasts on one person from rangers, warriors, and elementalists. But spikes could easily be stopped by block spells/skills, denial spells and good enchantment timing.

FOO strategies were there.

GW1's only downfall in pvp was comparable to CoH: Elitism, but it lasted a very long time before elitism drove players away to much. Elitism was held back by the above, only catch-22 habits would ultimately doom the games pvp base and even that would get dropped. But it was when you think about it, hard to stop that. Fact was the game was very hard against elitist take-over and elitist-drive-everyone-away domination.

Pvp 1.0 and 2.0 both lacked practical FOO strategies and were very unpopular for that, elitism in pvpers, and general poor balance. It lacked because it was simply tacked in there, rather than truely being fine tuned early. It wasn't as well oiled, and when they tried to change it, they changed it far to much without really looking at other games for inspiration very thoroughly.

So without going elitist, what do you all think? Remember, pvp 1.0 was not perfect, it was unpopular due to failing the above. So was pvp 2.0. So keep that in mind in replying and let us discuss it.
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#5023
3 years 2 months ago
Another note: No game should end up with one strategy being the only strategy. That was also a primary downfall of CoH pvp 1.0. In fact, the whole "Joust" was a sign of bad gameplay; it was the only strategy for non-teams and often drove many players away and made it so only those with 5 powers spent on travels, 2 on speed and 3 more on jumping(needed acrobatics afterall) that turned me off from it. People with flight should be just as viable as people with super speed or super jumping, and no one should be auto-winning over someone over them taking the wrong travel or not taking enough travels.
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#6050
3 years 1 month ago
The majority of mmorpg players are casual, solo, and PVE players

Any game that tries to cater to PVP players over PVE players end up going down hill fast. I have seen it a zillion times over. The PVP players are an extremely LOUD and complaining minority. Don't ignore them BUT never listen to them or cater to them over PVE players
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by Jinbomcw.
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  • Gerald Deemer
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#6066
3 years 1 month ago
Jinbomcw wrote:
The majority of mmorpg players are casual, solo, and PVE players

Any game that tries to cater to PVP players over PVE players end up going down hill fast. I have seen it a zillion times over. The PVP players are an extremely LOUD and complaining minority. Don't ignore them BUT never listen to them or cater to them over PVE players
I second that. This is so true!
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  • ZeeHero
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#6067
3 years 1 month ago
Jinbomcw wrote:
The majority of mmorpg players are casual, solo, and PVE players

Any game that tries to cater to PVP players over PVE players end up going down hill fast. I have seen it a zillion times over. The PVP players are an extremely LOUD and complaining minority. Don't ignore them BUT never listen to them or cater to them over PVE players

Alex's point applies equally to PVE and PVP.
There is tremendous life and personality in a name. It should be at least as agonized over as any character trait.”
― Travis Beacham
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