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…


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.


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Jonny Sage

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

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.

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.

Alex Js.
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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 ;-)


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.


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.


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


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.


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.