Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

PvP Inspired by WAR? Yes Please!

I’ve been quit ambiguous (to put it nicely) about Bioware’s upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, but these news about the PvP system actually sound quite good. What I love most about the system is that tanks get an actual role in PvP, just like they have (had) in Warhammer Online. Keen somehow thinks that taking a page out of WAR’s book is a bad thing. As far as I am concerned, he couldn’t be more wrong.

The PvP system (barring castle sieges) was not only the best thing about WAR but actually something I really enjoyed about the game. I haven’t had as much fun in an MMO in years as I had when playing the Warrior Priest / Ironbreaker combo in Battlegrounds with a friend. He would guard me, make sure that attacking me would be rather pointless and knocking down anyone that tried to kill me nevertheless while I made sure that he wouldn’t die. The two of us could hold back large groups of enemies by ourselves, giving the rest of our team time to capture objectives or some such.

If SWToR can replicate that kind of gameplay, I’m already very likely to play it for the PvP aspect alone. In addition to that, they are trying an incentive system to reward players for playing battlegrounds properly instead of just trying to kill as many enemies as possible. You will get badges for completing certain objectives as well as playing well in a team, which could be a big step towards making pick-up groups in PvP more fun to play in. Is that a bit of a crutch? Sure, but if it improves the experience then I’m all ears. People actually healing and guarding others in Battlegrounds sounds almost too good to be true.

These Badges might also have the added benefit of neatly guiding players into getting better at group-based PvP play. Just like the achievements in Starcraft 2 (well, some of them) which reward proper RTS play, these badges might improve learning speed without being intrusive. We’ll have to see how well Bioware’s implementation of the system can work, but I like it so far.

Would you like some WAR in your Star Wars, sir? Yes please! (Just not the PvE please. And no castle sieges. Thank you.)

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