The Daily Grind: Do you like PvP battlegrounds in MMOs?

    
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FEEL THE NOISE

I know it’s cool to hate on battlegrounds in MMOs, but I kinda don’t. I cut my teeth on scrappy open-world gankbox PvP, and then eventually migrated through an RvR phase and TEF PvP before landing on a PvP server for that big game everyone played. And… well open PvP there sucked; it was basically highbies tormenting lowbies until the battlegrounds rolled out, and I freakin’ loved battlegrounds. Alterac Valley was my favorite in its earliest forms. I just really preferred more structure to the fighting. It wasn’t balanced, but it was far closer to balanced than roving gangs picking off noobs.

That said, most PvP battlegrounds in MMOs are bad, in my experience, so I feel like I’m always looking for one that will hook me in like WoW’s oldest batch. How about you? Do you like PvP battlegrounds in MMOs? What’s your favorite?

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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Robert Mann

IMO the issue is that battlegrounds stand as just another reminder that the world is static and instanced. Do you accomplish anything other than chasing a gear/rating carrot?

I also have zero interest in mixed PvE and PvP settings, due to the issues that arise with gank/grief style gameplay. Neither should be dependent upon the goodwill of the other, given so much history there.

This is why my own proposal is a hard-split game world, which isn’t really new… but with the change of not just tossing the best stuff out in PvP-land. It’s a constant attempt to draw people out there in games, but it doesn’t work and just causes people who aren’t interested to leave the game. Instead, each should have their own unique resources and reasons to trade and care about their counterparts in shared areas (where PvP people can relax and do some PvE focused stuff if they want, and PvE people can join simulated battles and duels if they want to try or join some PvP activities). I imagine some benefits on each end to mentoring people in these scenarios, so that there’s that growing together aspect instead of just conflict.

It likely won’t be anytime soon. PvP games will try to draw sheep (ahem, victims) in and convince them that it’ll be fine for a fair while yet. PvE games will tack on minor PvP modes. A few games will try the full on mixed scenario with predictable results.

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Oleg Chebeneev

“Do you accomplish anything other than chasing a gear/rating carrot?”

Fun. Many people play BGs for fun and get tons of it.
Why BGs are so popular – because they give instant PvP action. You dont have to spend hours searching for victims in open world only to kill it in few seconds. You can PvP nonstop anytime. Its why I love BGs

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Schmidt.Capela

In other words, on-demand content. Makes the world feel less realistic, but for people like me that vastly prefer not wasting our entertainment time it provides a much better overall experience.

creationguru
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creationguru

I cut my teeth in the early years like Bree and I still look for some of it. I don’t like battlegrounds mainly because it’s another instance in a wide open lobby of a world. I am OK not having open PvP but I would love having guild/faction PvP in the open world where the ones that want to can and the ones that don’t can opt out as I feel PvP in the open world makes a difference in using the whole world. I would so opt into this so fast it would make heads spin. I have been thinking about this for a while and it would allow for PvP and PvE to live in the same world and interact. I loved faction and guild PvP and if you did not want it then you dont join that guild hell you could even limit the guild sizes on PvP guilds to speed out the population and avoid super guilds

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Zero_1_Zerum

I don’t PVP, ever, so nope.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I don’t do PVP. So normally, I have no useful opinion at all about PVP Battlegrounds… as long as the devs don’t *break* PVE because of PVP balance. Because nothing says “we know what we’re doing and value all our customers” quite like nerfing a weapon into literal uselessness in PVE because it’s “too good” in PVP.

The only reason I normally am even aware of PVP areas is if A) they contain some power-up or other item that’s meh for PVP, but awesome (or even just strongly thematic) in PVE. Strong glares at City of Heroes and the NPC monster summon device that could only be gotten via PVP… but that functioned anywhere in the game. Bonus hate for SWTOR and putting part of the mission to get the HK droid companion in the open ganking zone on Tatooine.

Or if B) the PVP area actually blocks access to the rest of the map. Not as much of an issue in the age of instant fast travel, but I’m almost certain I remember discovering that the only way to get from “This place” to “that place” in some game was to either go through the full gank PVP area, or to spend an extra hour going the long way around.

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Rndomuser

Forgot to add something. Many people forget that Battlegrounds depend on queue system, where there must be enough players on opposing faction to queue for it (or enough players on same faction, if battlegrounds also allow players from same faction to play against each other). This can cause some people to wait a long time in queue for them. Which is not fun, especially for people with limited gameplay time due to various reasons. And of course someone will reply with “but I rarely had to wait for a long time in queue for battlegrounds” – I am glad that you were lucky but I have seen long battlegrounds queue times (just like I seen long queue times for instanced PvE dungeons, which is part of the reason I dislike the inability to complete any PvE dungeon solo in most MMORPGs) and your personal luck with short queues has no relevance to people who were not as lucky as you were. In MMORPG games with open world PvP, I never had an issue of not finding enough targets when I wanted to do some PvP.

Relevant image included, taken from ClassicWoW subreddit from the post made 10 days ago.

P.S: I probably should also mention the FACT that battlegrounds or any kind of instanced small scale PvP in MMORPGs are used by many people to “farm” the reward points for unique gear/items, which is also not fun if half of your team are AFK farming or even half of opposing team is doing that.

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Schmidt.Capela

(just like I seen long queue times for instanced PvE dungeons, which is part of the reason I dislike the inability to complete any PvE dungeon solo in most MMORPGs)

My longest ever queue time in WoW was about a minute.

Of course, I dislike playing DPS, so all my max level characters were dual-spec tank/healer. The queue was so fast for me that I didn’t even have time to organize my inventory before it popped.

To put another way, queue times in WoW weren’t related to how many players were queuing; there was nearly always enough available players. Instead, it was related to the imbalance between DPS and the other roles. Which is a hard problem to tackle, as it would require either convincing a lot of DPS to change roles or adding NPC healers and tanks for incomplete groups to use.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

I actually really like battlegrounds, especially large ones. World PvP is great, especially in PvP games, but it was always disheartening to PvP people who would message me afterwards complaining about being attacked when they “just wanted to grind” or were “only on a PvP server because [their] friend plays [there].”

BGs really cut down on that. Numbers were more fair, even if gear and coordination wasn’t always the same. The original Alterac Valley that could take days to win was a lot of fun for me, and kind of what I thought Crowfall would be like.

Rift’s Port Scion was a smaller, tighter version of Alterac Valley IMO. Especially since I still feel Rift had some of the most unique MMO mechanics and combos, Port Scion was a good way to experiment with a new PvP build. Join the fray and see how you do in the chaos, or stay at the edges and lesser used objectives to see how you perform in skirmishes.

GW2’s Raid on the Capricorn was one of my all-time faves, largely because I enjoyed the game’s underwater combat. I know a lot of people don’t like water levels, but I’m weird like that. I actually remember having mean build for underwater combat, and sometimes worry I’m the real reason ANet got rid of the level (sorry everyone!). The Eternal Battlegrounds were pretty fun too. Even when my guild died, teaming up with others or just finding minor objectives to do on my own gave EBs lots of ways to hold my attention.

SWTOR’s Huttball was just so much fun, partially because of the announcer and his commentary. I’ve never been huge on the Galactic War, and more about the normal people and the grey areas trying to survive the two major contenders. Huttball felt like a real, well, Hutt thing. Faction didn’t matter, just two sides fighting for glory just for the entertainment of some crimelord. As a CC fan, the best thing was trapping people on the fire traps or pulling them into the acid pits and watching them die by hazards. Such mean fun. Damn shame there wasn’t any kind of follow-up where you could take on the Hutts themselves afterwards!

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Arktouros

Battlegrounds I think are just a bad proposition and the original Blizzard Battlegrounds show pretty much all the scenarios that can go wrong with them. Alterac Valley quickly turned into this extreme sports racing hyper focus on the objectives where there’s almost no PvP and both sides literally just run past each other to try to burn the boss/objectives down as fast as they possibly can. Meanwhile Arathi Basin you often times end up with too many people not playing the objectives and capturing points and just out murdering one another with no real purpose. Then Warsong Gultch often times end up in these stale mates where each side has the flag and neither side can really recapture their flag back.

I vastly prefer open world fighting setups of either Open PvP or even the GW2 WvW or ESO Cyrodiil style setups instead.

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Hikari Kenzaki

I enjoyed Siren’s Call in City of Heroes, Fusang Projects and Stonehenge in The Secret World, and GW2 WvW. I generally don’t seek out PvP, but if there are some good mechanics and good rewards, I might dabble in my free time.

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Hikari Kenzaki

And I like Hutt Ball… suck it Rottworm!

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Anstalt

I do enjoy battlegrounds.

For me, battlegrounds are all about the specifics of combat mechanics and teamwork, a chance to perfect my class and have a laugh in a relatively balanced situation.

I do prefer RvR / large scale PvP, but that is much less about the mechanics and much more about group psychology, numbers and roleplaying so it’s usually a different set of challenges.

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Anstalt

Favourite battleground remains the Gates of Ekrund in WAR.

Nothing particularly innovative about it, I just like the aesthetics and it’s a fairly small battleground which keeps the action pretty consistent.

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Salo

Sometimes I dabble with PvP and WvW in GW2, other than that, normally it’s not my thing; but generally speaking, at least I’m glad that PvP has it’s fans, kinda makes almost any game feel more varied if they have lots of different play styles on offer.