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?