The Daily Grind: What do you think about player-vs.-developer content in MMOs?

The Daily Grind: What do you think about player-vs.-developer content in MMOs?

Launching into early access today is a new hardcore fantasy MMORPG called Astaria, as we’ve lightly covered before. (Edit: Apparently it’s been delayed – thank Dan!) But anyway, the point was, ir’s pretty heavy on the survival aspects, on party combat, on crafting, on combat difficulty, and on item loss at death. In short, some folks are going to love this, and some folks are going to hate it. But there was one bit in the pitch that caught my eye: PvD, or player-vs.-developer content.

“Player vs Developer is where every player teams up against the developers like they’re the Dungeon Master of a board game. Developers will define the behavior and actions of monsters based on how players interact or react to different factions of the world. This system allows for a more living world in which player actions can affect the outcome of many factors within the game. The world will change based on the efforts of the players. For instance, a capital city may fall to the enemy if not properly defended during events and will only come back if players retake the city. These events are done both through automated systems and GM involvement!”

Now that’s a cut above GMs possessing sand giants and going on a rampage murdering newbies! What do you think about player-vs.-developer content in MMOs? Is it feasible, and would you play it?

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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Tobasco da Gama

It’s all well and good until it stops a game’s storyline dead in its tracks.


It can be fun as a special surprise event. Cordovan from Standing Stones does server events where he pops into public areas, spawns a bunch of crazy monsters and a bunch of prizes.


I always enjoyed devs getting involved in the game world in the past, with a caveat.

My first experience was in SWG, the best empire guild [KDS] got the help of the devs and the devs started spawning in various imperial stuff, most impressively a AT-AT which at that point I hadnt seen in game at all. So, all the rebels on our server descended on their city and had a massive fight!

LotRO also had a couple of interesting PvD moment after launch. I remember some big-bad dev controlled mobs roaming the ettenmoors which was fun.

I love these events for the scale they offer. Massively multiplayer…..its what this genre is all about, it’s the only unique selling point and these PvD events were usually the only time we actually engaged in massively multiplayer content.

My caveat is the servers could never handle it, so I’d only want it to be for special events (so that it doesn’t cause problems regularly) or for it to be every day (so they become normalised and players don’t swarm the event every time). In SWG we literally crashed the server because so many people wanted to take part. In LotRO I think the servers stayed up but rubber-banding was everywhere and it was a slideshow for most of us. Still fun, still epic, but would have been nice if the game could still have run well.


I saw a lot of that on the Anthem discord channel before I dropped it.


I have tested Asaria, it is one guys hobby and I think thats awesome. I will end up purchasing it just to pitch in, but trust me this game needs alot and I mean alot of work.


I don’t really understand what is, but it sounds like something that’s trying to break the mold of the current stangant state of MMORPGs.

Castagere Shaikura

Man, this is one of the things I miss about Firefall. The Devs would suddenly login and start a huge city invasion with no warning. The devs would play the invaders and dare us to try and kill them. I miss that game so much.

Jim Bergevin Jr

Wow, for a minute there I thought I was back in 2012 reading Anet’s description of these things they’re calling Dynamic Events that they’re putting in GW2.

Patreon Donor

There is not enough of this kind of content, where GMs do an event in the game, it does not need to be PvD, but anything else made by GMs, i never played a game where GMs show up in game to do some thing with players.

So yes please, more GM involvement.

Kickstarter Donor

It was fun in Asheron’s Call, but those were simpler times.