I did a piece on TERA‘s guild vs. guild PvP this morning. To prepare, I did a little research on what kind of rewards people get for participating in GvG PvP, which lead me to this thread on the TERA forums.
The answer, tersely summed up by the OP, was:
Guild vs Guild has become so utterly pointless in the game. Too many guilds starting too many wars, where basically now the words flash across the screen and I really could care less what has happened or who won.
There’s a reason for this, and it’s something that I think can be fixed. The problems with GvG (in my opinion) are the following:
1. A guild can engage in GvG too often.
2. There are no rewards for GvG
#1 is a function of TERA. #2 is a larger point, and one that I thought sounded horrible. Or “TERA-ble,” if you like, but that joke’s about as old as an arrow to the knee.
While the formula can range from “purely cosmetic” to “weapons of mass pwn-ing,” I’ve always thought there should be some reward for PvP – or PvE, for that matter. Why should I be putting my virtual butt on the line for nothing?
Yes, there are “bragging rights,” but those are virtually meaningless to an increasing number of MMO players. Or, at least in my case, people who just want to incessantly brag about the size of their e-peen are people that I don’t want to hang out with.
So, here I was, convinced that this was just a big, fat fail from TERA… until I read the last post in that forum thread:
rewards for GVG would force ZERG vs ZERG – not fun.
The way it is now, GVG has 2 categories:
1) I just want to PVP and your guild pissed me off so i’ll GVG you and PK all your members.
2) EPEEN reasons (bragging rights) my guild is better than yours
At least with this system you have groups of 1-5 doing their own pk thing.. if you start giving rewards for GVG it will be zerg vs zerg and whoever has the most members will win.
While I’d guess that poster Jet562 is almost certainly a member of the “E-Peen 4 LiFe!” community, he got me thinking. If you attach meaning or rewards to open PvP – which is essentially what GvG is – people will be more likely to “play it safe” and try to win, as opposed to just trying to have fun.
Take most online shooters – I’ll use Team Fortress 2 as an example, because I play it a lot. I don’t play TF2 because of the loot or because of my score – I play it because it’s fun. The same principle applies, for most people, I’d think, to everything from Call of Duty to DayZ.
That’s probably an imperfect comparison, because nobody really thinks of their long-term character progress in a shooter, and I certainly don’t roleplay as my TF2 Medic or Heavy.
But have we become too much of a loot-driven society? Is there a place in the MMORPG world for PvP that’s just about having fun and not about gaining rewards? You might say, “Yes,” but would you really still PvP without some kind of carrot? Can you play for just the thrill of competition and, perhaps, minimal e-peen waggling?
Or is the best approach is a middle ground between two extremes, a little like what Guild Wars 2 – which does seem to have the “zerg issue” in WvW that Jet562 refers to – is doing?
It’s an interesting question, and one that game developers maybe shouldn’t dismiss out of hand, regardless of which side of the debate they find themselves on. What do you think?