Doing It Right

While recently taking a forced break from the tedium that is system "polish", I read an article on Mythic's latest project: Warhammer; Age of Reckoning (WAR). My hopes are high for this one as back in the day, I used to sling my fair share of dice around, trying to kill Orcs and those diabolical Chaos baddies.

At one time, I had played Dark Age of Camelot for a solid 3 years, just because I felt the player versus player dynamic (referred to as Realm vs Realm) was that good. There seemed to be enough for every type of player in that game. A good mix of PvE and PvP. The pvp gave me a sense of accomplishment, not only for myself but for my team as well. Mythic may have screwed some things up (left axe nerf anyone?) but pvp is something they got right. More games should study their system, improve upon it, mold it to the next level. Maybe they will do that themselves with W.A.R..

It seems too many games try to go the easy route when it comes to pvp. Games such as Guild Wars hold no interest for me because the "guild wars" part of it doesn't seem to be a war at all…just team battles over the proverbial flag. Four vs four skirmishes are no more a war then five on five basketball. World of Warcraft fairs little better in my book as well. The lower level battlegrounds have little to offer then a brief respite in the grind that is leveling your toon to get to the "end game". Killing for an honor point or 20, so that you can get that cool piece of armor you have had your template molded around.
I recently went back to playing WoW, to join a few of my buddies in Shadowclan. When I first got back into it, I managed to recapture some of those feelings of freshness, and fun that I had when I first installed the game almost 2 years ago. Now, after a few weeks of trying to play catch up, and trying to enjoy the back story that makes up the quests that I have to maneuver in order to make my blue (often times purple) bar move up, I find myself loathing having to type my password in and "clock in" to my night time job. I am not so sure the lure of the end game is going to keep me interested enough to continue. Who is going to argue with Blizzard's success though? Five million subscribers can't be wrong…can they?

Why can't games place REAL meaning in their player vs player combat systems? How hard would it be to start your design with that in mind, instead of how many bunnies you have to slay in order to be one step higher on the food chain then the guy who plays 5 less hours then you do a week? Can't pvp and the way your side wages war have a profound impact on the game, the storyline, and your fellow compatriots? As players, I say we push for more dynamic content and WORLD building, rather then character building. Character building would fall into place if you gave players a sandbox to play in, rather then an amusement park, if your actions netted consequences that had dramatic effects on not only your little piece of the world, but the world as a whole.

This takes me back to W.A.R.. Reading the recent hype concerning this game, I have to say that I think Mythic will do this IP justice. There is even talk that the pve end of the game can and does affect the pvp portion. Now that is something different.

So I will continue searching for that utopian setting in a game, where my dreams match those of the developers and a hundred thousand other paying players. Hopefully, W.A.R. will be the first of many that share the same vision.

Aria

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~ by roca on April 20, 2006.

One Response to “Doing It Right”

  1. I competely agree with you about the world changing according to events. I remember being so disappointed in EQ when the apes never invaded the Wood Elf and High Elf cities. I assumed they would for the longest time, and when I realized it wasn’t going to happen I thought “what’s the point of a persistant world…it’s just a bunch of persistant characters”.

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