The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite PvPvE MMO or experience?


It feels like I’ve been dealing with a bit of a theme lately: PvPvE games. PvPvE usually seems to mean simple PvE mechanics that get complicated by other people. The simplest example would be open-world bosses. In a single-player or co-op game, a boss encounter is easy enough. Add in teams, and even without being able to directly attack each other, some people will sabotage a rival’s raid attempt if they think they can beat the boss before getting their just desserts. Thus, PvPvE.

World of Warcraft’s Doom Lord Kazzak always struck me as a good specific example. Simply spinning him around and keeping his back to the raid makes him terribly easy. Having a rival player jump in and taunt him so he’s hurting the raid and possibly healing up makes the encounter tense, as even without direct PvP, a failure to burn down the boss fast enough leaves you open to griefing.

However, that’s not my favorite kind of PvPvE. Sea of Thieves‘ simple quests and boss encounters are a blast because knowing someone else might take my crew’s treasure by force adds tension that I can’t get from a pure PvE experience. WoW’s battlegrounds that rely on defeating or saving NPCs were fun, as was its iconic disease-themed event. But maybe you’re more about taking a rival faction’s capital city, tearing down walls so dinosaurs can invade your rival’s home, or just spreading/curing plagues. What PvPvE game or mechanic are you fondest of? And how could future PvPvE games do it better?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Colony Zone in Knight Online around 2004-2006 where two races could exp (u get more exp than in non pvp zones) and fight. In the center of the map was Bowl where a lot of bossess (13 if i remember correctly) spawn and drops unique jewelry, weapons and items for master quest.


The first time I heard PvPvE was when Aion came out and they did it really well. The true meaning of the word is exactly what it looks like – content, or an entire game, designed for you to PvE and PvP at the same time.

A great example was Aion’s Dredgion. It was a PvE dungeon where you competed against a team from the enemy faction (PvP). The Dredgion’s ultimate goal was PvP, as it awarded you PvP Abyss points upon exiting which then allowed you to purchase PvP gear. However the means to that PvP end – as was the case with most content in Aion – was both PvE and PvP at the same time.

The winner was decided either by points, or whoever was able to kill the end boss. Each team had their own “side” of the dungeon to run down with another one in the middle. It lent itself to a variety of strategies which was amazingly well designed and to this day I haven’t seen anything since.

Killing mobs gave you points, named mobs gave more, there were certain doors you had to open to go through the dungeon, some of which had keys dropped by certain mobs. All the while you were at risk of fighting the enemy team, or you could just run over and wipe them to give you time to amass more points via PvE. Or you could skip all of that and if skilled enough, your team could rush to the end to kill the boss before the enemy team for an instant win, and there were some insane battles there, too.

And as a side note, I think there’s something else to be discussed here – what was the ultimate goal of the PvPvE experience? In the above it was PvP points and thus PvP gear. In most true PvPvE situations I’ve seen, the ultimate goal was PvP. Are there any that could possibly be PvE? I feel like probably not, but I’m curious, because I believe PvPvE can only ever be a primarily PvP encounter. PvE will always be a means to a PvP end in those scenarios.

Your Doom Lord Kazzak example I find interesting. That’s not truly PvPvE, because it’s design is primarily just as a PvE world boss. Most servers in WoW are PvE and thus it’s entirely a PvE experience. A rival, non-attackable enemy faction member taunting the boss isn’t PvP, it’s just griefing, and I believe not technically allowable behavior in most games (certainly not something developers would design for!)

On PvP servers in WoW sure you could be killed there, but modern WoW isn’t designed as a PvP game. It has PvP servers, but nothing about the game is designed to encourage that anymore so it’s just a side thought. So that sort of content is in my mind, purely PvE with PvP being mere happenstance.

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EVE Online.

I’m not a PvP person, but EVE Online integrated PvP and PvE in a way that did not bother me. Once you accept the fact that you are never safe, anywhere, and learned some basic techniques for dealing with the griefers and applied them (Rule #1: never fly something you can’t afford to lose), it just became part of normal life in the game. In fact, most of the techniques for dealing with griefers were techniques that were 100% useful during PvE.

Most of my time in the game, I wanted a straight PvE experience and I could get 99% of the way there. The threat from players attacking me during my PvE time became significantly less worrisome than the spawns that I had to deal with anyway during PvE. My losses from being griefed were significantly less than my losses related to pure PvE activities and are just buried in the noise.

Robert Mann

I tend to not like them, namely because the situation isn’t a thrill anymore. It is merely that wary looking around for the people who will come to do things in the most ‘can I have fun at their expense, and ideally make them suffer’ way.

This doesn’t even require PvP or situations with combat, but those certainly make it more likely. I’m almost interested in some vetting service, where gamers who have a history of being that way could be excluded from all future gaming for people… but that runs a lot of risks too :(


I guess all the various NPCs in LotRO’s Ettenmoors for me, most of my experiences are pure pvp or pure pve.

With lots of NPCs defending keeps and objectives in the Ettens, it acted as somewhat of a balancing force. If we were outnumbered, we could retreat to a keep and have the NPCs balance things out. Also opened up some fun tactics: sending in a tank on a suicide mission to pull all the NPCs whilst the rest of us flowed in to kill other players. Time it right, lots of renown, time it wrong and suddenly you’re swamped with NPCs and you die!

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Alterac Valley was really fun way back in the day when you had to play the actual objectives in a PVE manner, with actual tanks and healers involved, in order to win. Once people were able to zerg it though, the fun went away.
That’s the only example I can really think of that wasn’t somebody griefing me while I was just out questing or whatever.

Dug From The Earth

Darkness Falls in Dark Age of Camelot takes the number 1 slot for me.

And some may argue that its not real pvepvp, but old school Alterac Valley in WoW takes the number 2 slot.


Not sure if Ark Survival would fit into this conversation, but I have had so many amazing pvp encounters in this the last few years. Sure, some of the outcomes are just down right heartbreaking at times, but I think this just adds to the flavor of online gaming, for me at least.

Again, not sure if Survival games would be relevant to this conversation.

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I really enjoyed PvP in ArcheAge, had it not turned into a P2W game I would more than likely still be playing it today. Unfortunately TRINO doesn’t quite get that a lot of people are in the same boat as me.

TERA. Amazing PvP again. Back when the Vanarch system was around and GvGs were being spawned off left and right to gain points/favor for ruling a territory it was amazing. Unfortunately BHS flipped the script and slowly started killing off all the PvP modes in the game with horrible balance, new classes and just plain removing a lot of PvP systems (Vanarch is gone, Exarch is gone, alliance is gone) and were replaced by CU which is nothing but a very badly done Node War system from BDO.

BDO. I really enjoyed the PvP prior to awakenings and when +15 was the max enchantment level. It was a lot more balanced back then and didn’t have these absolutely MASSIVE gear gaps between the very lucky rng gods and rng failures.

Honorable mention. I enjoyed SWTOR’s Huttball a lot.


How could I forget GW1. GW1 had absolutely amazing PvP with vast build capability, class combinations and overall systems. GvG was so much fun in GW1. Its unfortunate GW2 hasn’t been able to emulate the same experience.

Kawaii Five-O

Champ spawns in Ultima Online, especially the Harrower. Those were were pretty crazy fun.

The nice thing was you could get successfully raided and still have a chance at getting a scroll, because the scrolls didn’t simply go to whichever guild got the kill, iirc.