A new distinction.

14 11 2011

I was just reading over on Spink’s blog (like old times, sniff) where Spinks asks an interesting (if often repeated) question: do we really need separate PvP and PvE servers? Now, my comment doesn’t really answer her question (sorry for that, Spinks) but it does bring up something I’ve been thinking a lot about, what with the League of Legends Tribunal and my strengthening preference for games where I’m less dependent on large numbers of people that I don’t know outside of the game. Cutting to the chase, I’d like us to consider a new separation of player/server types.

  1. In it for the phat lewt.
  2. In it for the people and the journey.

I admit I don’t feel the same excitement when I’ve played MMOs lately. In the wake of WoW (with all of the “are you geared/committed/1337 enough” arguments it entailed) better designed games like Rift and TOR look fun but not dazzling. The skins are better, but I fear the underlying game may be too much the same. “Kill ten snow moose.” MMOs are becoming less and less like ┬ápen-and-paper RPGs (think, muds, Ultima, original EQ) and more like pretty wrappers over Farmville-like games (WoW, Champions, and so much else)…and I don’t know who to blame for it, really. The games are prettier, more complicated, and present more to do…but people seem to approach them differently. I’d blame the Diablo 2 generation…but really, that’s me. It’s odd, because, I very much like the idea of a massive world I can explore with my friends…which is why I enjoy MP Minecraft so much: it presents a massive world and exploration with friends. I very much dislike the idea of having schedules, applications, and reviews in video games. Even intermural soccer is less restrictive than that. Can’t make it to a game because your kid/girl/dog’s sick? No sweat. No drama-splosion necessary. Hope your kid/girl/dog gets better soon.

I found my feelings were remarkably well summed by up Chris over on Levelcapped. So, at least I know it’s not just me. Like Chris and his so-called “NDAMMO”, I too am still on board for TOR. And I bet I’ll love it. But, right now, looking back on WoW, and having had basically the same experience this weekend comparing time with TOR to Skyrim myself…well, go read Era. You’ll see where I’m at.

I do think I’ll enjoy TOR because the game is built around a journey…one I can share with a small set of friends (or a huge one, if you prefer). It’s not like WoW where I had to content myself watching the video of Arthas going down because no group of people I knew were consistently large enough, committed enough, or well geared or skilled enough to take him down. All I wanted when I started WoW back at release was to stick it to Arthas or possibly redeem him. To see that story arc through. That wasn’t really the point of the game though, was it? The point of WoW was loot and replayability.

Well, the point of TOR is the story. The point of Skyrim is the story. Those are the games I want to play, and most contentions I’ve seen against TOR seem to come from people from that other category…those who are in it for the loot.

I’m not saying that’s a bad category. I am saying I no longer fit within it.

Maybe I need a different server?


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2 responses

14 11 2011
spinks

I’ve been pondering why the PvE vs PvP server question seems like an odd thing to be talking about now. I think it’s because I always kind of assumed that by this point, most games would be using a single server type of model anyway.

25 11 2011
thade

Spinks! Sorry I missed this; it got spam filtered. <_< Silly wordpress.

Syp said it best a long time ago; I wasn't able to find the article, but what he said stuck with me…there's a kind of people that enjoy pvp servers and a kind of people that doesn't. More to the point, there's a kind of people that enjoy preying on those that can't defend themselves and those that don't appreciate either side of that equation. I definitely fall into the latter category myself. A "pvp server" is really just a "gank-free" or jerk friendly" zone, in my opinion…as the only effective difference between the server models in my gaming experience is how easy it is to grief another player.

I can't imagine off-the-cuff a single-server model that would really cater effectively to all parties. Honestly, my thoughts in this article were as much me playing with the theme as anything…and, I admit, trying off-the-cuff to think of such a server model. :)

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