Massively Opinionated: Which is the best open-world PvP, WvW or FFA?

So far Massively Opinionated has kept its questions rather broad, but wouldn't it be interesting to examine one title that has a particular take on a certain mechanic and pit it against another game with a different take on the same mechanic? That is what MO did today. It took the PvP in Guild Wars 2 and pitted it against the PvP in EVE Online. And our panelists are Tina Lauro, representing GW2, and Brendan Drain, representing EVE.

The rules are simple: our host, Larry Everett, sent four questions to the panelists and asked them to create an argument based around their answers to these questions. Whoever has the best argument will win a point, and the panelists with the most points at the end will win the show.

This week's questions

1. This first question is simple: WvW or total open-world?

2. Which game has the best death penalty?

3. Big spaceship or big dragon?

4. Using your game as suite of features, add three features to the other person's game to make it better. (The person with the best overall improvements will get the point.)

This week's panelists

Tina Lauro
Twitter: PurpleTinaBeans
Website: Predestination

Bendan Drain
Twitter: Nyphur
Website: Predestination

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89 comments
Foggye
Foggye

1. Neither.  I prefer RvR games.  I loved DAoC, and I even enjoyed WAR.  ESO was way too mirrored for me to even care.  Although, some of the things that EVE has done sounds simply amazing.


2. Anything pre-WoW. 


3. Big Spaceship.  Seen too many big dragons, so big spaceships hasn't been worn out for me.  Particularly if that have a naval appeal to them.


4. I'd say take WAR, actually make all six races their own side, put in the DAoC-like Frontier, and good server/net code and you could had a great game.

ApathyCurve
ApathyCurve

Warhammer Age of Reckoning had the best open world PvP I've ever played.  GW2 never interested me, either as PvP or PvE; tried it, fell asleep.  Same with GW1, so far as that goes.  There's something about ArenaNet's game design philosophy that just completely turns me off.  I'd rather stare at drying paint.

BritoBruno
BritoBruno

FFA on a dedicated server for it.

WvW is a good concept but fightning on the same map for years is boring as hell.

I imagine how cool GW2 would be, if all the 60+ maps were open pvp with faction wars, in a PvP server, of course.

Esoteric Coyote
Esoteric Coyote

Depends on the player.  Some what open world pvp, some want WvW.  Me?  On paper it would be WvW or AA castle battles (which I've never seen but we are talking the concept.)  The idea that you can have massive siege battles and fight to death is pretty awesome.  And a hard won or lost battle is one of the best feelings in a MMO.  But the problem comes up where you can't really force that situation.  It has to happen naturally and most of them it's slapping empty castles for points or getting rained down on by more siege than is humanly possible to counter.  That balance is rare.  It's such a fine line between fun and getting curb stomped.  

FeveredDreamer
FeveredDreamer

1. WvW and open world PvP offer very different things, most importantly I think WvW is way more open to casual players.  Though I love open world PvP I think it scares plenty of good folks away from games. I'll always prefer open PvP with meaning (one of the biggest things missing from GW2) but I don't know that the WvW vs. open world issue is innately tied to the lack of meaning.


2. While I totally respect Tina's stance regarding death penalties, I'd say on the other hand that death having no bite really only works in games like GW2 (and even there it can be frustrating at times).  While I (like Brendan) loved the PvP in Age of Conan, it says a bunch I think how hit or miss those types of games are.  I mean I'm looking forward to games like Crowfall, Black Desert & Camelot Unchained but those types of games really bar some MMO players from palying.

Lhumierre
Lhumierre

Total Open World PvP Where you can get ganked at anytime. That is real immersion in faction pvp, You never know what's going to happen or when it just does. This is real PVP.


Guild Wars 2 turned WvWvW into a super casual follow the exp train cooperation between servers. People literally will run in a circle in perfect unison with whatever other server they are "against" and cap points one after another. It's fucking ridiculous

Velimirius
Velimirius

Loved L2 till C5, after it never really found an open world PvP game that did it well enough for my taste. Thats why i cant wait for L2 classic EU server. Sure i played WvW and rest of the instanced pvp, but never really enjoyed it as much as L2 open world one.

__Pete___
__Pete___

I loved gw2 wvw and had lots of good group fights when avoiding the zerg and finding small scale fights, but had much more fun solo killing in age of wushu.

playerxx
playerxx

The one that has the better community, as good as it can get in a game like this.


As in, you don't log in and get the '' u got pwnd nuub, hehe'' crowd.

Craywulf
Craywulf

I never played DAoC, I am curious what exactly made it so much better than ESO and GW2's WvW? 

BilfordWimbley
BilfordWimbley

@Craywulf There were reasons behind the RvR in DAoC and politics. There are three realms; Hibernia (Irish mythos), Midgard (Norse mythos), and Albion (Arthurian mythos). Each realm had the same abilities (i.e. AoE spells, AoE DoT spells, tank abilities...) but they were divided up differently between classes in each realm. So an assassin in Albion was not the same as one in Hibernia. Their basic setup (high burst DPS) was the same, but how each class went about it was different. Aside from that each realm had relics at a relic fort. There was a magic relic and a melee relic each giving +10% damage to the damage type associated with each relic. There were then I think 10 keeps in your frontier that you could hold. Each keep was tied to a certain number of relic fort guards. So, if another realm took your keep, your relic fort lost some guards. A guild could claim a keep and upgrade it based on their "guild RvR experoence points" individuals would earn towards their guild. DAoC had seige weapons also as in order to take a keep you needed to break down the front gate and kill the lord of the keep. There were also stealther groups that could take keeps if they were good enough because there were points on the keep walls where assassin classes could climb into it. Guilds that claimed keeps would get a broadcast message when their keep was being hit. It would require a lot of coordination and guilds had alliances to help defend the keeps. Basically it benefitted your realm to keep/retrieve your relics or another realm's relics. There were class imbalances in realms and FOTM classes. I ran a pure healing Druid in Hibernia and had a blast. Camelot Unchained is basically a spiritual successor to DAoC. It is still in development and Beta is expected to be early 2016. It may be revisionist history, but the game had so many facets to it and it was fun to just run around and get into fights in the Frontier. Oh, Frontiers were the PvP areas. PvE areas were pretty much safe from invasion, it happened once or twice that I remember, and you went through Frontier gate then a Milegate, each with a bunch of guards to get out to your frontier. Check out Camelot Unchained if that sound slike fun. CU is going to be strictly PvP (RvR) and housing and items will all be player crafted. Housing will use a voxel system where crafters can build their own custom buildings. Oh, and crafters are just that, crafters. So you will need a dedicated crafter in your guild if you want anything to get done/built.

Foggye
Foggye

@Craywulf Ultimately, I think it came down to mainly to identity.  It was the first real MMO to feature 3 distinct sides.  Each one of those realm had it's own aesthetic, theme, races and classes.  For instance, an Albion tank had platemail, and could use polearms.  While your Midgard one only wear chain, but had more weapon skill, and their skill lines allowed them to effectively switch between 1h and 2handed weapons.  Some realm got mechanics that the others didn't get.   Knowing that your race, and class choice was unique to the side you were playing on, helps you identify with playing on that realm and you become invested into the lore, dungeons, keeps, players, guilds, alliances, monsters, and successes of your realm.


Also RvR isn't just raw PvP.  It's Realm vs. Realm.  The entirely of one part of a population is pit against other two.  While some were dominate, sometimes the other two would silently work against the dominate one.  Nothing was said any forum, or chat channel to do this.  It was a simple matter of you hating the dominate realm vs. the other guy; so it didn't need to be said.  That helped some balancing issues.  Do to players have some pride in their realm, most of the time, a major keep would be defended.  In the case of a relic raids or defenses; players would drop what they're doing to get into the conflict.  You ever see what it's like when 200-300 players hash it out?  Hell in some cases, the battles involved over 1000 players.


Another thing it did well, for the most part, wast that you could find success with zerg, group, and solo playstyles.  Of course, the smaller the number, the higher potential for reward.  Group on group action was common place, and some very good groups could even severely damage or wipeout the zerg.   On occasion, some soloists or duos could do the same to a group.  


Last was the progression.  It had your typical levels, and back in the early parts of the game leveling was very challenging.  When you got 50, you got congrat'd.   That was an ACHIEVEMENT.  Then you could go into the RvR Zones (which were huge, and there were 3 of them, one of each realm.  Go to another realm, and you're essentially invading.)  Although, the RvR progression system was damn near exponential.  The time it could you to go from RR5 to RR6, some could goto from RR1 to RR5, so on and so forth.  It took years to get to the max rank.  Not many players achieved that.  Because of the nature and numbers behind that progression, you did have an edge with that RvR progression, but someone rarely low could catch up to the point to where you may have a year's more progression, you still have advantage, but it could be slight in comparison.  So it was rewarding to those that did it, but it did also allow newer players to climb up fast enough to be effective.

Aricin
Aricin

DAoC. End of discussion. Nothing else has come close since

Robert80
Robert80

For the first question and the title question only:

I detest 3 faction PvP.  It seems to turn into 2 vs 1 faction PvP all too often (basically, 2 sides teaming up against the remaining side.)  Often, win trading is involved in this setup.  I don't particularly like 2 faction PvP either, although I'm less opposed to it.  2 faction feels bland, and often has problems with story where the factions should break themselves apart... although in many cases the story is already terribly written and inconsistent outside inter-faction relations.  Thus, given the 2 choices, FFA/open world.


What I would really like to see are some PvP setups with at least 6 and maybe even 10 factions, with incentives not only to combining forces with other sides that are currently in bad shape, but also with a strong stance on things like win trading.  I'd like to see the factions themselves make things interesting, with the ability to launch assaults that retake their lost territory if not stopped.  Bring in more strategy elements, like placing barricades to force enemies to either break through or travel around, traps, tunneling, etc.  If anything, I feel that the options outside zerg or unit combat are extremely under-utilized, and even in most cases not attempted.


redtoadsage
redtoadsage

Also to throw in some confusion...Camelot Unchained for example can't really be classified by just one type. It's both open world, and RvR. While "WvW" is distinguished by being separate from the main world..in Camelot Unchained there is only one world, and it is not instanced like GW2 WvW. It is* the open world, and functions on a tri-realm basis. However many likenesses to GW2's iteration are simply not there. In CU the structures are not static, they are player build. There are resource nodes that do not simply respawn in the same place over and over. It's tri-realm, but the realms are not mirrors of each other. Environments change depending on who owns them. It can only effectively be categorized as both* open world and RvR (not* WvW). 


Not to mention it will specifically support solo, group, and large scale combat instead of being a karma training zerg farm like GW2.

redtoadsage
redtoadsage

This article needs to distinguish between the multiple iterations of the Tri-realm system. 


Dark Age of Camelot, ESO, and GW2 all use the same basic formula, but the final manifestations play so differently I'm pretty sure they each deserve their own category.

Tina Lauro
Tina Lauro moderator

@redtoadsage  The distinction is made through the games we write/talk about: I argue the case for GW2's specific implmentations for every question, and likewise Brendan talks about EVE. Hope that clarifies! :D

thatchefdude
thatchefdude

The best IMO is DAOC and ESO's RvRvR style.... Although I think ESO does a much worse job of it than its spiritual precursor did....

Radfist
Radfist

FFA, although I prefer open world faction based. WvW is always zergfests and not all that entertaining.

redtoadsage
redtoadsage

@Radfist The WvW or RvR style is NOT always a zergfest. Sadly it has been in certain games, but like others have mentioned DAoC's RvR and hopefully CU's RvR will be anything but.

Telos_
Telos_

WvW isn't open-world, since it's instanced away from the main world.  It's a glorified Battleground.

disUserNameTake
disUserNameTake

@Telos_ Open world is great in theory and generally garbage gameplay in practice.  The nature of PvP means that you need some structure, rules and limitations to make it fun for everyone involved.  Higher level players continually ganking lower level ones in open world is one fun for the people doing the killing.  

sydh
sydh

Well I'm pretty biased and gonna say DAoC RvRvR. I enjoyed it more over what GW2 tries to provide.

DahkohtLewin
DahkohtLewin

Asking an opinion on types of world PVP from this sites writers and the vast majority of posters is akin to asking a campsite of occupy Wall Street protesters opinions on what types of hedge funds are best.

Old school EQ Zek servers with corpse runs be it faction based or FFA were best for me though. Death should bite be it PVP or PVE and no safety rails or instanced crap either.

sukumei
sukumei

@DahkohtLewin You're my man. PvPers don't usually come out and talk unless something jilts them. Too busy actually playing the game..... except there's no game out.

Next stop, Repopulation HC.

Caec
Caec

@DahkohtLewin This is quite possibly the most quotable post ever in the history of Massively. Well, the first part, anyway. ;)

sukumei
sukumei

1) FFA, all the way. I end up hating the carebears that I have to play with more often than not. If you've ever played AOS games/Dota etc, you'll quickly get tired of those one or two people that let the team down. We did not choose you, but apparently pressing a button at the character selection screen puts us on 'the same side.' We would rather form our own groups, setup our own flags and shitlists without major restrictions.


2) UO/Darkfall had the best penalty. If you died you deserved to have your shit taken.


3) What has this got to do with PvP?



Oleg Chebeneev
Oleg Chebeneev

WvW. Having enemy faction and allies is much more fun then random mass

MonsoonGibby
MonsoonGibby

"Best" open world PvP implies that such a thing is "good".  Perhaps "least shitty" would be more appropriate.

DPandaren
DPandaren

I actually feel like ESO does GW2's wuvwuv better. Mostly because it includes lattice links like in Planetside, so there's no dumb back capping and hunting for a zerg. 


Also, there's no Planetside. 

Boardwalker
Boardwalker

When I have limited time, I prefer instanced battlegrounds/warzones. 

When I have more time, I prefer RvR (or what GW2 players refer to as "WvW" and ESO players refer to as Cyrodiil).

Siphaed
Siphaed

Is there by chance a way for you guys to do a download version of this show similar to the Podcast?  Pretty please?  

 I listen to the Podcast on the long commute to work weekly after downloading on my tab, but can't this because it is hosted on YouTube.   An optional DL version would be much appreciated.

SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably
SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably

1. Depends on the circumstances and the game. Like others have said, apples & oranges.
2. Aren't they all pretty much the same anymore? I liked the old EQ xp loss and corpse run stuff, but, only because it made character death meaningful & something that you very much wanted to avoid.
3. Dragons if I get to play one, but it seems no one is doing that. T_T
4. Huh? I'm really not sure what this means so I'll just link to my quick, woefully unfinished feature list: http://sirmysk.tumblr.com/post/127892469054/my-ideal-mmo-design-cliff-notes-version

Sythalin
Sythalin

Ah, another comparison question between apples and oranges. Gotta love these.

schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

1. As long as there is no PvE element to taint the experience — in other words, either the game is pure PvP, or else the PvP is sectioned apart — both are fine for me. I tend to prefer factional play if the combats tend to include large numbers of players, free for all if the combat tends to be smaller scale (and, thus, the chaos more manageable).


2. I prefer harder games; thus, I prefer games where, even if I play to the best of my ability, I die often. Due to that, I want the death penalty to be as small as it can get — because large death penalties force the devs into making death rare, and thus making the game easy.


3. If it's something I own, big spaceship, but only as long as I can craft parts for it and otherwise improve and customize it. Otherwise, dragon.

Superbrak
Superbrak

1. WvW. At least it tends to be more sanctioned off into specific zones or areas... unlike open world which taints the whole game.

2. I've always felt the sense of failure when I get when I die in MMOs is enough penalty. I hate the "walk of shame" from the respawn point back to where I was. Anything worse than that ala corpse/item decay, xp loss with deleveling, permadeath etc becomes less a penalty for dying and more an incentive not to play anything risky. So I guess GW2 in that regard.

3. Dragons easy. Spaceships only work in space. Dragons can kick butt with and without atmosphere.

disUserNameTake
disUserNameTake

1) More of a WvW person.  For that I'd say GW2 nailed it.  Eve has the best open world PvP.


2) Um, I don't know.  I dun wanna die!


3) How about a gigantic spaceship shaped like a dragon?


4) I don't understand this question, and I'm too mentally lazy to figure it out right now.

Tina Lauro
Tina Lauro moderator

@disUserNameTake For question four, I had to use GW2 features to improve EVE, and Brendan had to do the opposite. I hope that clarifies! :D

enamelizer
enamelizer

Off topic: I would *love* if the audio was posted as a podcast and posted to the MOP Podcast RSS feed. I have plenty of time to listen to audio while trapped in my car commuting, but can never find the time to watch the video.

schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

@enamelizer 

It's on Youtube and without DRM. You can use some Youtube downloader plugin to grab just the audio (which is 70MB as an AAC file, or 53MB as an Ogg file, BTW).