The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG offered the best PvP experience in 2019?

    
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You might recall that in 2018, we swapped out our award for best PvP MMORPG. Neither our writers nor our readers in the years leading up to then seemed all that taken with it, so we dropped it in favor of something else. PvP, as we saw it, had been relegated to a side game in most MMOs, and the award was a challenging one to debate. “How exactly do you compare arena PvP and battleground PvP and guild warfare to battle royale modes and survival sims and free-for-all gankfests?” Do EVE Online, Black Desert, and Albion Online really compare?

But since then, we’ve finagled a few more PvP-centric writers, including the helm of our Fight or Kite column, and PvP in MMOs seems to be picking up a bit of steam as more and more of those lingering-in-test-mode Kickstarter sandboxes finally inch toward playable states. So maybe the award will return next year with a worthy winner.

In the meantime, we’re turning the question over to you: Which MMORPG offered the best PvP experience in 2019?

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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izanagi

Certain moments of ESO have been great PVP wise but overall the performance issues and lack of Dev support for any of the PVP features (more elements of PVP have been removed than added in their openworld PVP zone). Compared to 2014 ESO, 2019 ESO is a poor substitute and I very much doubt 2020 will see any improvement based on the last few years of development focus.

Unfortunately there haven’t really been any viable alternatives for that type of PVP. I was once hopeful for CU’s release but its progress has also been hugely disappointing so far.

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Ragemaster9999

I’m a huge pvp addict. Grew up playing everquest on rallos zek back in the day pre velious and never looked back to blue servers. Spent many years in eve online before finally getting bored of the stale alliance meta and countless blunders by ccp. Also eve is a huge time sink. Helping run a small to medium size alliance, it’s a thankless job organising content for other people. Nothing worse then spending hours setting up for a timer fight pinging for max dudes only to have the enemy stand down at the last minute for whatever reason. 95 percent of eve is getting ready to pvp and about 5 percent is actually on grid shooting other players.

Since quitting eve I have found a new gem to play. Albion online! It has alot of similarities to eve with a whole lot less time sink. Initially i passed on the game due to the art style, but once I gave it a go I was hooked. Here is a game I could get into and pvp relatively quickly without a ton of grinding or setting up. Within a month of playing I had close to 300 kills from pvp. Albion has a breadth of content with everything from small scale solo or small group ganking,to the big zerg vs zerg fights over mage towers and castles and outposts that guilds contest for season points. Theres also competitive 5v5 guild v guild pvp for people wanting a more controlled environment. I tend to favor open world pvp and Albion delivers in spades. Also worth noting the community is extremely less toxic and bipolar then eve. Everything I learned about running a group in eve I found to not be as important in albion as it’s way less cutthroat. Its refreshing to not have to play the counter esponaige game that is eve anymore and constantly weed out the spies trying to join the guild.

At this point I’m rambling, but yeah my vote for best pvp game of 2019 goes to Albion online.

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Solaris

Archeage Unchained

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budtoker420

There hasn’t been a good PvP MMORPG since pre-ToA DAoC.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

that was a good season

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jay

i would have to say ESO, but even that is kind of Meh when it comes to pvp this past year. Only because Zenimax has no clue how to properly balance their game, and they keep removing/changing features that work fine in an effort to balance things, just to make things worse.

You would think it wouldn’t be hard to invite the major pvp streamers into a focus group, get them all together and talk things over and figure out what needs to be kept, changed, balanced, and added. Instead ZM is either trying to cater to every single squeaky wheel on the forums, or some unknown internal direction that they decided based on metrics and some big wig upstairs “formula” for success.

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Chosenxeno .

Tekken 7 and Streetfighter 5. No MMORPGs have good PVP. Just cowards who can’t play fighting games. Good luck getting your Rogue buddy to peel my Blanka off of you.

Sam Kash
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Sam Kash

Some of them have good combat, but the implementation and ultimate support is always terrible.

Did you ever play Absolver? Now that is a true fighting game with no equal.

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Bruno Brito

Don’t put SFV on the same sentence as T7. Please.

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aleccia_rosewater

does arguing on a game forum count

Sam Kash
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Sam Kash

Yes. Did you win?

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

severe,jane.gif
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Utakata

That looked painful. :(

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Schlag Sweetleaf

On a different note, Happiest of birthdays to Ms Jane Austen, 244 years young today:)

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Skoryy

I think I just laughed up a lung. XD

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laelgon
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laelgon

For the kind of PvP I enjoy? I guess Life is Feudal, because I like that there are things of consequence to fight over. And that’s not high praise for LiF, it’s got so many problems that I quit after a few months, but it was the closest to the sandbox experience I’m looking for.

Not a fan of battlegrounds and other instanced PvP in most MMOs, I’d rather play Apex or Battlefield if I’m looking for drop-in drop-out competition, where it’s not a test of whether you’ve got the current meta build.

Cautiously optimistic that New World will be the PvP sandbox I’m looking for.

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Snoid

I guess cause none of you like PvP then I could pitch in, it’s essentially the only reason I play mmos. Keep in mind the strong point of MMO PvP is the fact that they’re flexible and chaotic, compared to other PvP games like fighting games. Imbalance isn’t a bad thing in PvP MMOs, as long as its fun.

WoW classic is a complicated one, but most of its failings stem from the fact that its old (which is obvious), the combat itself is perfectly fine, the issues lie in its PvP scenarios where it incentivizes very boring PvP raids that can go on for entirely too long just so that the players can get some honor. BGs are ok tho, when they come out. The game is gonna remain very static which will ultimately make its PvP playerbase wander off, leaving only the tryhards left. Seeing as Blizzard functionally removed or abandoned any form of mmo PvP in main WoW (arenas are not a factor because thats just turning it into a bad fighting game and the only reason blizz tries to do anything with them is because ESPORT), i definitely don’t see them doing anything to help it here.

Black Desert is probably still ok, but its core combat isn’t desireable for higher end play. There’s a very low skill ceiling and as such it’s difficult to find a reason to get better in its combat. I abandoned it years ago because of those reasons.

ArcheAge Unchained came out and its PvP is reasonably ok, personally I couldn’t see myself suffering in a capitalist tryhard game full of creeps and the unfun kind of toxicity in order to get that PvP though. It is there if you want to deal with that, however. It’s a standard tab target but its strong point lies in its mobility by utilizing gliders and mounts.

Elder Scolls Online was my main MMO for 3 years up till me and many of my PvP tryhards quit after Eleswyr due to us growing increasingly frusturated by Zenimax continuing to patch out fun things for the sake of balance, but messing up and making the balance even worse for no benefit to anyone. They’ve been like this for a very long time and I don’t see them improving ever, due to how their publisher is with time budgeting. Having to churn out DLCs and expansions for it is taking a serious toll on the games’ quality. However, its core combat remains exceptionally good, but the games PvP growth is very stunted by the fact that ESO is a very casual game and no PvPer is gonna notice it, and its core market is casual questers who just want another elder scrolls game.

Since you used TERA for the banner I guess I could mention that its the best combat ive ever played in an mmo. Played it for a few years enjoying the no rules PKing, but apparently they patched that out after I stopped playing. TERAs weakness for me was the lack of PvP scenarios and dwindling playerbase, so less people to fight. They might have improved some stuff since then but I dont think i have the heart to bear playing it again. Very good core game tho, if they announce some kinda reboot or even a sequel, id go in again and see how it is.

Old School RuneScape is a pretty funny one, one of the few MMOs with pvp that i absolutely don’t care to do and instead prefer PvE (they call all PvP PKing in RS for some reason, and they call PvE PvM). Jagex I can say for certainty is the best development team out there for MMO PvP, but OSRS’s core PvP is, weird. Looking aside from me not being able to click good, its got standard MMO PvP stuff in there, like animation cancelling and bursting to secure kills etc, but its ckmbat itself literally lacks any mobility aside from very niche circumstances. Generally you just sit there in place and do the thing, occasionally walking back and forth out of combat range/on top of the target while theyre rooted. I don’t think its playerbase enjoys the combat either oddly enough. They seem to only care about getting items and gold from the kills. Its all about risk vs reward. Skill is definitely a factor however. I’d like to see Jagex do something to try and get new PvPers in tho. I’d be willing if they add something to bridge the PvMers into PK, with less risk so we can L2P before risking our entire bank dying to people who have played for decades.

As for indie pvp mmos? like you said, they dont exist yet lmao. dunno about next year either, im seeing maybe 2 or 3 more years.

Sam Kash
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Sam Kash

I’ve not finished leveling thru AAU, but my time in the balance arena is mixed. It seems that the combat is very much about simply going thru your rotations and hoping the enemy gets stun locked before you do. I read that Auramancy was key to fighting because it has some stun breaks but so far I’m not optimistic.