Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best MMORPG PvP of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best MMORPG PvP, which was awarded to Black Desert and EVE Online in a tie last year, the first year we debuted this reader-proposed award. We’ve opted to include live, fully released MMORPGs launched in any year, as long as their 2017 PvP experience is what’s being judged. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMORPG PvP of 2017 is…

NOTHING

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna): I think I need to explain this one upfront, so I want to cut in front of my colleagues to do it. We debated genre PvP and were able to come up with some games that probably could have reasonably taken this award, though for every proposal there was someone opposed, and no consensus could be reached. Ultimately, we found that our nominations were lukewarm at best and we were far more excited about PvP implementations coming in MMORPGs on the horizon (Crowfall, Camelot Unchained, and WoW’s PvP overhaul have my attention), so ultimately we decided not to bestow this award this year and in doing so communicate our dissatisfaction — even from our dedicated PvP players — with the current state of PvP in the genre.

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): PvP was one of the things that really got me into MMOs, especially the social aspects. This year, the only one I was really active in was Pokemon Go, and that’s hardly the best. Elder Scrolls is more for the sandboxy-feel I was hoping to get from ArcheAge, Black Desert’s experiments sound nice on paper but I’ve failed to sell it to gamer friends, and even my old chestnut, PlanetSide 2, failed to click with people I actually convinced to download the game. These days, survival games, lobby shooters, MOBAs, and death-match arenas just seem to be getting the PvPers I knew, including myself. If pressed to choose, I’d go Black Desert just because it sounds interesting on paper, the platoons/squads thing sounds like a slow evolution to PvP-lite beyond Crowfall’s limited campaign seasons, and because we don’t have to post news articles about cyber-mafia heists in it and hey, we didn’t have anything like the ghillie suit pay-to-win controversy of last year. Yay for that.

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): EVE Online. It added new moon mining gameplay that opened more opportunities for PvP.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre): World of Warcraft. The fact is that I haven’t done a lot of PvP this year, but the system for World of Warcraft’s PvP leveling and various Brawls has actually been a fun and cool way to keep players engaged. Sure, some of those Brawls have been kind of dumb, but both the instanced PvP and the open-world quests for PvP have gotten my attention. I’ll also nominate Final Fantasy XIV’s MOBA-fication of jobs.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster): Albion Online. It should get the nod this year because it finally launched its PvP sandbox and gave the community a lot of pretend land to fight over. PvP isn’t my bag, but I got the feeling that this tight community does enjoy what’s on display here.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie): It isn’t an MMORPG, but I’d give this to SMITE for its Corrupted Arena adventure. I had a blast in there and I wanted to keep going back. I’d also say Amazing Eternals, but of course, that is also not an MMORPG — and it is no longer with us! Paladins is also more fun… you see the pattern? No MMORPG offers a decent PvP experience for me. What I can say is that I am anticipating PvP in an upcoming game! If we have a most anticipated PvP award, I totally vote for Rend. I am really looking forward to the three-faction warfare that is only at certain times at bases but whenever on outposts. I really like the premise and cannot wait to see how it works out in practice;

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): PvP doesn’t appeal to me as a player in the slightest really, so I do struggle with this vote category. However, I’ll throw my hat at Black Desert for its attempt at creating PvP-for-the-masses, even though it doesn’t sway me to play.

Nothing won our award for Best MMORPG PvP OF 2017. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: Which MMORPG had the best PvP experience in 2017?

  • Albion Online (5%, 40 Votes)
  • Black Desert (9%, 76 Votes)
  • EVE Online (13%, 111 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (10%, 81 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (2%, 21 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (11%, 97 Votes)
  • Star Wars The Old Republic (2%, 21 Votes)
  • Blade and Soul (3%, 28 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (8%, 71 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (1%, 11 Votes)
  • RuneScape (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Darkfall (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Warframe (1%, 8 Votes)
  • PlanetSide 2 (2%, 15 Votes)
  • TERA (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Nothing (24%, 208 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (4%, 30 Votes)

Total Voters: 849

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Poll options include all games nominated plus other games we opted to include.

MOP’S 2017 AWARDS (SO FAR)
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45 Comments on "Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best MMORPG PvP of 2017"

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Jonny Sage

EVE sets the standard. Until someone else does, EVE should always win this.

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Steven Williams

I’ve enjoyed pvping occasionally in FFXIV. The improved roulette system helped a lot with the wait times.

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Alex Willis

EVE should have been the default winner here. In the absence of anything else, it obviously shines through in this category.

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Melissa McDonald

I don’t see how you couldn’t vote for EVE, it’s a given that the game is a cosmic jungle where you either bring food, or become food.

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Alex Js.

Have to give my vote to EVE – even though I cancelled my subscription (for various reasons) there’s just no other game (and yes, I’ve played all of these from this list) which provides so many varieties of PvP participation and so much discussions related to that aspect of gameplay at both the official forums and /r/EVE subreddit.

Really amused that some people still vote for games like WoW and ESO for “best PvP experience”… It’s like voting for Keurig brewing system or Folgers instant coffee in a “best coffee drink experience” contest ;-)

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draugris

My Vote would go to Warhammer Online Return of the Reckoning. It´s a private Server where Warhammer Online got resurrected and is developed further to some extent. I always enjoyed the PvP in WO and had a lot of fun with it this year.

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Vellik

I love ESO, but as much as I love it, I still can’t bring myself to vote for it for a PVP best. There really are two extremes for PVP in that game; you are either in a massive zerg ball running around until you find another zerg ball, and you don’t really feel as if you’re contributing (unless you use gimmicks), or you’re in a 3v3v3 battleground, where you feel like /too much/ depends on your performance.

For me, I’d like to see a happy medium between the zerg-ball PVP and the PVP that counts as the bare minimum of small group. Some kind of PVP implementation where it’s between 5 – 10 players in a given scenario would be nice — it’s not too little and not too much; it’s enough to make you feel like you’re making a meaningful impact in a fight, while not having too much riding on you if you die.

Addendum: Okay, I forgot to mention everything as far as PVP in ESO goes (duels, Cyrodiil ganking, 1vx with a tanky build to be a nuisance), but those seem to be the most prominent to me.

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Crowe

I think this is the first of this years “awards” that I agreed with!

Reader
Arktouros

I dunno about EVE. While EVE’s PvP is bar none one of the best in terms of what you’re fighting over actually matterng (IE: Blowing up a player station, blowing up billions in ISK, taking over territory, etc) it’s easily the worst game play in any MMO to date. So it’s this really high-low scenario where you’re excited cause of how much it matters and depressed cause time dialation just kicked in and you’re watching the paint dry.

Albion Online is a mess because the game is basically a massively multiplayer pyramid scheme where you have 5 guys at the top getting fed by everyone down below. The bigger your group the more pyramids you can have feeding 5 players at the top to do the GvG scene. They can shuffle the zones around as much as they want, the top guilds with the most pyramids are still going to end up owning the same amount of territory in the end. Server issues plague anything larger. Again, just a big mess.

Black Desert is a contender here as well with their territory capture system but also is a big mess. Servers and client were never meant to handle over 200+ people fighting in the same area at once. 1v1 or small scale the classes are horrendously balanced so that doesn’t really offer much there either.

So, nothing.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

I agree with the result, and also vote Nothing. As I often say, I go for dedicated PvP games for my PvP fix: FPS games, fighting games, combat racing games, etc.

For the most part I can’t really stand MMO PvP. For me to enjoy PvP there must be no power difference between players, which means no progression; if by winning, or even by merely playing, a player can make his or her character stronger, then I’m not interested in playing, at all. I also require the PvP to be fully consensual (as in, every player taking part has explicitly chosen to engage in a PvP fight), the sides in the battle to be as evenly matched as the game can make (PvP where I have an advantage is boring, PvP where I’m at a disadvantage is frustrating), and for the game to have no negative consequences, at all, for losing. Few MMO games offer something of the kind, but that setup is very common in non-MMO PvP games.

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Zen Dadaist

Yup, I’ll have to agree with Nothing there.

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Bruno Brito

No one voted Blade & Soul? Interesting.

cambruin
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cambruin

It’d need people to play it I guess. Well, by now it has 9, so there’s that :)

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Sylkesh

Well I voted “Something else” cause at first, I couldn’t think about any worthy MMORPG in terms of PvP and was about to answer “Nothing” too. And then, I considered PUBG: this is what PvP looks like in 2017, clearly.
Ok, it’s not really a MMORPG, but it’s at least a MORPG, it’s Multiplayer Online and the experience and good laughs are created by the players, it’s the PvP sandbox by excellence.
And with all the players enjoying this game, isn’t it Massive? So yes, I had to admit that PUBG is the best MMORPG PvP experience of 2017 :D.

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ichi sakari

forums and comments sections

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touchofkiel

I’ll go with FFXIV. The way it was hugely simplified for 4.0 worked out in its favor, especially Frontlines (the recent MOBA-like mode is… OK). In any case, it’s the only MMO PVP I play, and I got hooked on it when we were all stuck on Raubahn. Plus it’s a solid source of exp, especially for DPS.

I don’t really care about PVP, but XIV’s hits some nice check points: relatively fast to get in and out of, fun aesthetic rewards, and good exp. I’ll take it.

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Vincent Clark

I’ll second this. Usually, I stay way from PvP content. They’ve stripped PvP down to it’s basics (which is the way it should be) and made it fun. If it can get people who normally wouldn’t go near PvP interested, that is saying something.

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Rees Racer

I don’t enjoy MMORPG PvP at all, really…like a lot of readers here. Perhaps it’s a bit surprising considering how many PvP games I actually play that won’t fit into the category. My best experience with that sort of thing was Vanilla WoW…and that means before Battlegrounds.

MechWarrior Online is a favourite.

World of Tanks is still fun occasionally, as is Warships (Warplanes is much better recently, but still second to War Thunder air combat).

Winning Putt Golf Online and The Crew are multi-player PvP games of sorts, which I enjoy quite a lot.

Squad is really the best PvP experience I’ve had recently. Fabulous product still in Early Access (remarkably polished) and not really a qualifier at 40 v 40 presently per server, but it’s more an MMO than Overwatch or any MOBA.

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Sorenthaz

MMORPG PvP is a joke in general at this point. It doesn’t feel good at all and is pretty much a niche within a niche which keeps getting watered down and simplified. Not to mention skill lines get muddied quite a bit when bigger numbers influence it.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I hate MMORPG PvP in general. Normally it’s time based, the one who sits online the longest leveling and gearing up is the winner. It’s usually always lopsided, with many of us only really used to getting ganked by much higher level players as our MMORPG PvP experience.

True skill based PvP has been done in games like Fortnite and PUBG – so much so that it’s actually even interesting to watch. Everybody is equal going in and it’s what the people who go to the game are there for. There is nobody that just wants to go off questing and PvEing and gets ganked while trying to do so.

I just don’t go to MMORPGs for PvP and don’t think I ever will.

Though I did try out Trove’s PvP and it was interesting how everybody is equaled out and your time spent leveling and gearing up doesn’t matter. I think it’s done interestingly enough there and yet I still don’t care to participate much and most others don’t either. Since it’s maginally enjoyable and mostly fair despite your time online and such I guess my vote goes to Trove.

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Utakata

Yeah, I admittedly chose the second last one too. It’s amazing though that developers still insist of wiping our faces in it. They must enjoy PvP more than the playerbase does. o.O

kofteburger
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kofteburger

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rafael12104

I think, if we, your readers, knew your criteria we would better understand the decision.

So, my criteria, (speaking as an occasional PvPer) is that PvP has great combat mechanics and animations, provides a mode for a level playing field experience, offers 1 vs 1 and many vs many scenarios, but only as an opt in function and is never forced.

That’s a mouthful. Lol. But I think PvP can fit any flavor of MMORPG in this way. Does it have to be a sandbox, no. Does it have to be theme park? Nope. RvR, OwPvP, arenas, instances, factions, they all apply.

So given that, there are many candidates to consider. For me BnS checks off all of these boxes and then some. Shocker, I know. And yet, the game’s PvP truly shines.

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Nosy Gamer

I’m kind of surprised you have this award at all.

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Castagere Shaikura

Wow Aion is not on the list.

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Chosenxeno .

Something Else: Street Fighter V, Tekken 7. Tie. MMORPG PVP can’t measure up. I don’t even bother with PVP in MMORPGs. I play Fighting Games. There’s no one to peel me off of you. Ehehehehhehhehheh!

Edit: I jokingly did this and “Something Else” is actually leading lol. Seriously, though. I play MMORPGs for the PVE. I really do love my fighting games as, well. Gotta show these kids the old man still has it!

Edit Edit(lol): Wow..even the Massively staff had nothing. Finally the abomination that is PVP can be put to rest and those resources can go to Lore, World Building and Raids!

Reader
ozzie

As a big PvPer, I agree with this award. I’ve had to go outside of MMOs to get my fix, usually stuff like Battlerite, PUBG, and a weirdly fun game called Minion Masters.

Odd opinion: I would also say PUBG does “world pvp” better than most MMOs right now. Big map, diverse gear and weapons, emergent and exciting gameplay (often unfair odds!). It really does scratch the same itch.

Reader
Sray

Twelve years running, Reddit is still the best PvP available on the Interwebz. Twitter and YouTube keep trying, but sheer numbers alone just can’t beat anonymus long-form ignorance and hatred.

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Schmidt.Capela

Nah, Reddit has serious faction imbalance issues.

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Ariel Domen

I have been looking for a good substitute for SWTOR pvp for a long time. SWTOR had the right idea in general terms for me (maps like Huttball) , but so many problems that I quit a long time ago. Class unbalance, low populations, premade v solo, gear problems, bugs, lack of matchmaking, devs that don’t care, etc.

All the other MMOs were dissappointing too. I gave up on PVP in MMOs.

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TheDonDude

Congrats, EVE, for again winning by default!

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wratts

I’m curious where Absolver, For Honor, PUBG, and Injustice 2 fit in the ever evolving “is it MMO” spectrum. PVP crowds have seemed to adopt those pretty readily in 2017

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Tobasco da Gama

For Honor turned out to be a flash in the pan, I think. PUBG has too little persistence to fit in the MMO category even if you squint. I’m not familiar with Injustrice.

Absolver is an interesting borderline case, though. An open world with persistent character progression that has drop-in multiplayer is a square peg that fits the round hole a lot better than most. Maybe it’s a squircle. ;)

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Schmidt.Capela

PUBG has too little persistence to fit in the MMO category even if you squint.

While I’m not playing PUBG, one of the things I dislike about MMO PvP is exactly the persistence. I want PvP where after a match things reset to their starting point and players can start anew in an evenly matched game; I have absolutely no interest in a PvP game where the winners get even stronger.

Which, mind, is why I’ve almost always played something else for my PvP fix, with the exceptions being MMO PvP modes where progression is removed by artificially bringing every player to the same power level.

BTW: Injustice is basically DC-themed Mortal Kombat without the gore. I have yet to play the second one, but I found the first one quite good.

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Armsbend

I voted Brendan Drain.

2nd place goes to WoW. It isn’t the best pvp but it’s the pvp I’m casually playing right now and I’m enjoying myself. I’m looking forward to seeing what they plan with the new expac.

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BalsBigBrother

The only pvp I have done really is in Overwatch not sure that counts but if MJ can pick Smite and Paladins I am going with Overwatch

Yocraig
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Yocraig

I voted “Something Else” because I don’t pvp at all and thought that should’ve been one of the choices…”I don’t pvp so I’m not qualified to vote”. Yeah I could’ve just skipped voting but that’s no fun.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

cant agree with that decision. the fact that there is enough mmo pvp to chose from invalidates your decision to not give the reward to any of them, because you think not one “deserves it”. one of the mmos simply has the best pvp.

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FG3000

Nice! I couldnt agree more. I take it a step further and say PVP in progression based games doesnt make sense when the PVP crowd only cries for BALANCE. Your PVP balance needs are better served in shooters and mobas.

I honestly think MMO’s would be better off dropping PVP and focus on making fun classes, races that actually matter and gasp Classes not based solely on dps.

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Armsbend

Nah too many people enjoy it to drop it completely.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Since 2003 every year the winner in this category is EVE Online.

Also the list feels like it was randomly generated with lots of PvE crap to fill. FF14? SWToR? Runescape? If youre just dragging same popular MMOs into each category without taking into account context, you’re doing it wrong.

Lists should include games that deserve to be mentioned in every particular category. For example its lacking 2 MMOs that are widely known for PvP and fully focused around it: Age of Wushu and Lineage 2. Both have plenty of players still, at least in Asia.

Honorable mention: https://www.battlerite.com/
Its a real 2017 representative and great successor of my favourite MOBA Bloodline Champions

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Danny Smith

MMORPG’s are no longer the novelty of persistent online, shooters, fighting games and stuff like Dark Souls make mmo pvp look beyond archaic so yeah i’d vote ‘Nothing’ as well. The days of going to mmo’s for your pvp are dead and gone.

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Koshelkin

Oddly fitting but from my side it would be the same picks as last year . Can’t speak for Albion Online or Planetside 2.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Albion Online’s PvP is fun but it is plagued by severe performance issues, making especially ZvZ unplayable.

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