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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 514
# 26
12-24-2012, 01:31 PM
In my mind, good MMO pvp has the following:

Very little all-encompassing advantage from gear
The ideal is something like Team Fortress 2 -- gear changes what you can do, but, more or less, everyone is on equal ground.

At least one area with large-scale, persistant, shifting goals and territory
Guild Wars 2 WvWvW is a great example of many of the past lessons of MMOs being applied. Taking and controlling territory on a large scale gives pvp a feeling of immersion, context, and consequent that, say, Capture STO pvp maps lack.

More than 2 factions (generally 3)
Two sided pvp battles, on a large scale, generally become more imbalanced over time. Once one side is seen as consistently winning, people generally stop joining on the losing side (because it's less and less enjoyable to just get rolled)
Ideally (and it takes some planning/good design), 3 factions allows an underdog to take the corners and survive while two other factions fight, and for shifting alliances and advantages.

PuG/newbie protection
That is, PuG vs. premade veteran groups... sucks. Organization makes a HUGE difference. A ladder system might help, but it requires a LOT of people to be pvping. You can't solve the problem with a ladder system, because you need some way to get people playing, first.
I don't know how to fix this, other than maybe giving PuGs a way to only match up against other PuGs.

Warhammer Online is a great example of ignoring many of these elements and f'ing up the game completely. It should have 3 factions, but they decided to go with 2. It generally locks gears to tiers, which works great until the end, at which point the last tier covers way too much power variation and newcomers are roflstomped for a long time.

I honestly don't know if STO can really fix these issues. I wish them the best, but with the inability to even manage to flesh out two factions, I have very little hope.