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Let’s talk world PvP!

Gamingtodaynews1e - Let's talk world PvP!
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This discussion is mostly aimed at people who actually enjoy world PvP, but do feel free to share your thoughts even if you don't, as long as they're constructive (eg, are there games where you would otherwise like to play on a PvP server, but there's a reason you don't?).

World PvP refers to the kind of PvP where you can attack other players anywhere in the game world without having to send them a duel request or whatever first (except for in safe zones like towns, of course).

Personally I love world PvP, as long as it's done correctly. There's a certain thrill you get when you're out gathering experience or resources and you encounter another player. Is he friendly, is he gonna attack you? Should you run, should you do nothing, should you attack to try to scare him off, possibly starting a battle you can't win? This is especially true when you're playing a game where you get punished for dying. World PvP also leads to PK and Anti-PK groups and guilds, and naturally occurring wars and guild wars, which is just tons of fun!

However, I feel like modern games often do world PvP wrong. And I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about it!

I think my biggest issue is with unfair matchups. I feel like there have to be restrictions on who you can attack. In a game I used to play, you could only attack players that were within 10 levels of you, and this range was just right because while you likely wouldn't be able to beat someone who was 10 levels higher, you still had a fair enough chance to escape. There isn't much entertainment in PvP if one player just completely overpowers the other, neither for the killer nor the victim.

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An other thing is that player killing shouldn't really be incentivised. I feel like it's okay to get some minor rewards from it, but there should always be mechanics in place to decentivise it too.
Make the rewards too big and the entire game just starts revolving around PvP, making it so you can't trust anyone you meet in the wild anymore, and you need to start grouping up to head out. I guess this works for certain sandbox games in which the focus is just this, but I think it's far from appropriate for all games.
I think a good way to achieve this is by making it so you can get the same rewards from player killing (if any) in an other way too, perhaps even quicker or easier.
Punishments for player killing could include things like debuffs, guards becoming hostile to you, and useful NPCs not wanting to interact with you anymore.

A third issue I have with modern games is the toggleable PvP-mode. There's no reason to turn PvP on other than player killing. Even if you don't intend to PK, other people start attacking you because they think you're gonna try to kill them, making you have to fight back and perpetuate the stereotype. This just makes most people turn it off unless they want to PK, so when once in a blue moon you see someone who has it turned on, you can know with 99% certainty that he's a PK. This removes all of the suspense that world PvP is supposed to bring.
I feel like PvP mode should be always on for everyone, or alternatively other players shouldn't be able to see that you have it turned on (this second option to prevent you from accidentally attacking another player by turning it off, without becoming a target for everyone when having it turned on).

What do you think?

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