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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

FanFaire Report Part 2 - PvP





Okay, I have a bunch more to write about so I'm going to try to take things one subsection of play at a time.

Let's start with PvP. I didn't expect so many of the players I spoke with to be so excited about PvP. I guess I didn't see the overlap of PvP'ers and FanFaire attendees to be so large. But I was wrong and I found it was one of the most common discussions between players of EQII.

So, what can we expect? One major addition to the PvP game we can expect is the coming of a third player faction, the Exiles. But to explain that I have to step back a bit and discuss the betrayal revamp which will be on all PvE servers as well as PvP.

The new betrayal quest will be faction based. I'll try to use an example, but this is my example and not SOE's. Let's say you have 5,000 faction points with Qeynos, being a good, upstanding citizen. Of course, as such, you would be welcomed into Qeynos and free to make use of all the facilities. But then let's say you start to do things which are, well, not so nice.

Perhaps you start killing Qeynos guards, sabotaging Qeynos supplies and generally making yourself a nuisance (remember I just made up these examples - SOE only talked in the general). So now your faction with Qeynos is zero, zilch, nada. As a result of that, you are no longer welcome in the city.

So there you are, out in the wilderness with no Qeynos faction. You're not welcomed in Qeynos. But you're also not welcomed in Freeport, who still distrusts you as a Qeynosian. But you do see that some of your actions against Qeynos have made Freeport hate you just a little bit less. You decide to work with that and continue to take actions which endear you to the Overlord. Eventually, your faction with Freeport is so high you are welcomed into the city with the same rights as any other citizen.

I see this system as a way more realistic and immersive way to betray than simply doing a quest series. It can take place at any level. Now, if you change subclasses due to your betrayal, you will have all of your spells reduced to App I. Because, hey, you did betray after all and there should be some penalties.

Now, can you change your mind after being booted from Qeynos and build your faction back up with them before entering Freeport? Can you betray Qeynos, join Freeport, realize the error of your ways, betray Freeport, and then rejoin Qeynos? I don't know. I don't think this was addressed. But it sounds like a cool idea and I don't see why it couldn't work under the system as described.

But okay, back to PvP. Let's go back to the point where you have just killed your faction with Qeynos and are booted from the city. But you have also not yet decided to build up your faction with Freeport. What exactly are you in terms of PvP?

Well, you are an Exile. You can kill people from Freeport. You can kill people from Qeynos. But the fun doesn't stop there. You can kill other Exiles. Yes, that means your target availability consists of every single player on the server. Of course, on the flip side, everyone can kill you.

Exiles will be their own faction, with their own language. And yes, it will be possible to form Exile guilds. And yes, Exiles will have access to things like banks, menders and tradeskill equipment. And sure, Exiles can have housing in neutral cities like Maj and possibly also in their own "city" of sorts. I envision it more as dangerous "Wild West" town then an actual city but there were no details on that.

Of course, being an Exile sounds almost too cool. But there will definitely be systems in place (besides every player being able to kill you) to ensure that life as an Exile is hard. As it should be. I don't think there were any details on that but it may be that Exiles just don't have access to the full range of benefits that Qeynosians or Freeporters do.

Okay, what else? Well, one oft requested feature is definitely on the way. Fences. Yes, you may actually now be able to do something with that Paladin Master spell you've been hoarding on Freeport besides selling it to a vendor.

But, keep in mind that there will be elements in place to make fences suited to the PvP climate. For example, you will not be able to find them at convenient locations in your own city. No, they will be out there in the world in a dangerous contested zone. So, yes, you can use the fence. But you may have to get past a gank squad to do so. Or, perhaps, you would like to have your group defend the fence so that other members of your faction can use it. I think it's things like that which make PvP interesting.

Someone at the open panel asked whether PvP-centric quests will be added, which I thought was an excellent question. The answer is that these are on the way. So you may soon be able to get that "kill ten high elves" quest you've been dreaming of, or possibly even get to do some stealthy sabotage missions. Those are, again, my specific examples and not SOE's. But I was happy to hear PvP quest content was in the proverbial "works" because I think there are a ton of possibilities for fun.

My question was whether we could expect both an evolving storyline and the ability to change the game world through PvP. The example I gave was whether the side which got the most kills in a two day period could be "rewarded" by having a Griffon Tower on the opposing side's zone be destroyed. I believe the answer was that they are considering "negative content" like that.

More generally, I had two points:

1. It's not enough to kill the other faction repeatedly. I want to make their lives miserable in some other way.

2. I want to have things in the game world change based on my PvP actions.

The second point is applicable to PvE as well, but I think it is easier to implement on a PvP server because the sides and actions are more clearly defined. There was no real SOE comment to this but I got the general impression that it is something they would like and are at least considering.

As for the "Carnage Cooties," a term coined by Seelie (who also has a great FanFaire writeup
in this thread) to describe the Carnage PvP tag which is pretty much now the official term for it, they are continuing to look at the mechanic. Some of the spread of Carnage Cooties has been reduced due to changes in the way the timer runs. And they are continuing to look at loopholes in the system. But the Carnage Cootie system was intended to be somewhat "viral" in nature, so don't expect it to ever go away entirely.

In general, it's worth noting that SOE is quite pleased with the population of the PvP servers and they do have a promotion in the works which will highlight PvP.

Alright, I have plenty more to write about but I'm still recovering my full health and power so that's it for today. I'll tackle tradeskills tomorrow.

20 Comments:

Blogger HolyAvengerOne said...

Very nice write-up, Aggro, as usual :) Keep 'em coming, me wants more :P

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, yes! PvP quests? Exile faction? Fences with gank squads guarding em? Negative content?

/swoon

I love EQ2 PvP!

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Fergle F Fergleson said...

Wow. I'm definitely not a PvP player, at least not EQ-style PvP, but this is darn tempting.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Surbrin FireSlinger said...

Ok, I love the PvP server, except when I get ganked by 10 peeps, of course...but the idea of fences is something I have been wondering about and hoping for. Thank you for putting me slightly at ease regarding this situation...

Also, thank you for updating those of us that couldn't make it to FanFaire on what happened!

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Exile faction is a great idea. Though maybe if you arent so neutral...maybe you are alligned with Maj'dul and some of its citizens see the other cities as a threat that needs to be silence....hehe =D

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