The Daily Grind: Does size really matter in MMOs? PvP battle size, that is

    
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Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a big push for MMO studios to talk up their numbers – and by that I mean how many people they can squeeze into an MMO’s functional play area, not total population. Camelot Unchained has put 5000 humans and bots on a battlefield. Dual Universe put 30000 on the same planet in alpha. Ashes of Creation says it’s hoping to launch with the “largest organized PVP battles of any MMORPG.” And CCP Games – which already holds the record for biggest PvP battle at just over 6000 bodies – is hoping to top that with an EVE Online collab that’s recruiting 10,000 pilots for a tech test.

Now, I gotta be honest, I freakin’ love seeing things like this, and not just because of the epic headlines. This is ambitious! This is truly capitalizing on the “massively” in MMORPG! This is what I want to see devs doing!

On the other hand, I am not actually sure whether it matters too much to me – or other MMO players – on a regular basis. I can unreservedly say there’s a big difference between 10 and 100 and 1000 PvP combatants, or 100 and 1000 on a server economy. But in a 5000- or 10000-person battle, I’m probably not going to interact with more than a few hundred of them anyway. I’m glad they’re there and we’re all together (and I especially don’t want to deal with multiple servers), but sometimes I wonder whether tech like this has the functional impact we’d like to think it does.

What do you think – does size really matter in MMOs, in PvP or out?

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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Wrathbaby1993

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If you’re standing next too thirty players, and never interact with a single one, are they NPC’s?

I like big battles, I think they’re fun and give players more options. What matters equally to size is quality of interactions. The fun factor of big battles can only scale if you make sure smaller teams can be made easily.

PS: Play Foxhole.

P3lli
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P3lli

Lots of people think this genre is defined by the word massive. WRONG, the magic word is persistence.

You’r not gonna tell me a game like Travian is not a MMO no kid no…. veterans know it and if you dont just read the articles by Raph Koster

Anyways I’m a pk so server size doesn’t matter.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Any size is fine with me, since I dont PVP, ever.

Veldan
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Veldan

As with everything in life, quality > quantity…

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Paragon Lost

I think it matters, it makes for variance in game play. The larger battles play differently then a smaller one. I’m all for variety in mmorpg game play! :)

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Anstalt

Yes!

Massively Multiplayer….

Its the only unique selling point of the entire genre! And yet, it tends to be the most neglected feature and we’ve barely scratched the surface of what is possible.

I believe this is for two reasons. First, it’s a step into the unknown, so to get the most out of being massively multiplayer you really have to take some big risks and that isn’t something publishers like doing. Second, the race for ever better graphics so that the game can attract the unthinking masses means that large numbers will remain a pipedream for most games.

But does it really matter?

It matters a great deal to me personally, due to my playstyle. I’m endgame and community focused and spend most of my gametime in groups. Any sort of player cap hinders my enjoyment. When im able to play a game with large numbers, that sense of scale gives me a lot of pleasure.

But, we’ve yet to see an MMO that has mechanics and an engine suitable to large scale numbers. So, in terms of actual gameplay, large numbers tends to make very little difference. It doesn’t sell copies of games. So right now, it doesn’t matter.

laelgon
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laelgon

I may be in the minority but I love large chaotic battles where individual skill factors very little into the overall success or failure of your team. Basically, I want hundred to thousand player battles where everyone is one of the background extras in a Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings battle. Your death or survival is impersonal and largely the result of random chance.

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Alex Willis

In games that are live, I’d say the only place it matters is EVE. Why? ECONOMY. War fuels the game’s economy and these huge battles represent massive opportunities for gain and lucre for EVE’s industrialists. The bigger the battles, the greater the losses, the faster the replacement engines churn out fresh hulls for the slaughter. (So, basically like real life.)

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Schmidt.Capela

Size does matter for me, but not in the way the devs making those games want; I think those battles will be too big to be fun. I already find it hard to enjoy battles that have a hundred total players.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

The more the merrier.

you better run.gif
camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

You can’t even get mad when you are doing a quest in a pvp zone and a zerg of 20 or more opponents comes over the hill headed somewhere and mows right through you.

Just the cost of doing business.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na..roflstomped!

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Utakata

“Holy soil-your-tights, Batman! Where did you leave the Batmobile again!?”