Punishing PvP Activity In PvP Games

I was reading the Albion Online State of the Game and came across this part:

Red zones will be full loot PvP zones that do not contain any claimable territories. Red zones will be subject to a crime and reputation system that makes sure that killing peaceful players – in particular, if they are zerged down – has more consequences for the attackers.

No part of that makes me more interested in Albion Online.

This chain of logic seems to happen often in MMO games:

  1. Make hardcore PvP game because it’ll (I guess?) attract a lot of players.
  2. Notice players complaining about getting killed unfairly in hardcore PvP game.
  3. Add systems to constrain people from killing each other in hardcore PvP game.
  4. Wonder why everyone leaves the game.

What is the point of putting full-loot, open-world PvP in a game if you’re going to punish players for killing and looting people?

I was listening to the GWJ Conference Call talking about The Division and there seems to be a similar system in there. It’s super dangerous in the Dark Zone because anyone can kill you but oh, by the way, if they do they’ll get a bounty on their head and everyone in the game will get bonus points for hunting them down and taking their stuff*. Say what? Who’s going to sign up for that?

I can only assume this is yet another misguided attempt to get PvP players and PvE players to buy the same game.

* I don’t know if that’s exactly right, but it was something along those lines.

3 thoughts on “Punishing PvP Activity In PvP Games”

  1. I thought the idea was to create a kind of “Cops ‘n Robbers” scenario, where the reputation/crime system allows players to know who is on which side. That makes sense to me although it seems a bit unlikely to work out well in practice because the two sides probably won’t balance themselves very effectively.

    What makes no sense is to imagine there will be neutral, let alone “peaceful” players in the middle of it all. Unless the areas also contain vital resources that non-PvP players simply cannot do without (they’d have to be both absolutely essential and completely unavailable anywhere else, I guess) then why would anyone who didn’t want a fight ever set foot in these “red zones” in the first place? And if you do put super-essential resources in ffa, full-loot pvp areas then you are not going to get any “peaceful” players in your game, period.

  2. Many of those systems are useless, because the attackers already have the advantage (stats, equipment and/or numbers-wise), which is why they attack. Who would be able to claim a bounty on the most powerful cartel around, even if they were flagged to be openly PvPable? Certainly not the noob that just got picked on.

    Some systems are even counter-productive, like Archeage’s court system or whatever, which pretty much -encourages- misbehavior for those interested in seeing that part of the game, as additional socializer/griefer gameplay where they can try to convince others that their “crimes” weren’t so heinous.

    And, as you say, if the system is too effective in dissuading others from attacking each other, then you have a relatively stable social community like in A Tale in the Desert… but you don’t actually have a typical PvP game any longer either.

  3. “Who’s going to sign up for that?”

    In the recent beta, plenty of people signed up for that. Why? Because it’s fun I guess. Maybe it was because it was a beta so people weren’t so serious. Got killed? So what. Respawn and try again. Reset is just a few days away anyway. We’ll see how it plays out at launch.

    So as a PvP lover, you kill someone, steal the loot they’ve collected in that session and you get a bounty on your head. Now you’re a PvP target and can run and gun to your heart’s delight. If you enjoy PvP, why WOULDN’T you do it?

    If no one did this in the Dark Zone in The Division, there would be no PvP. And there’s a limited number of people in a Dark Zone instance so it’s not like there are 50 people chasing you. Maybe half a dozen to a dozen (I’m guessing), assuming they all care enough to chase after you. And assuming you’re not on a team with other “Rogue Agents”.

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