During Scott Hartsman’s Ask Me (Almost) Anything Reddit chat last Friday, Hartsman gave his honest opinions and some rather large answers to questions that RIFT players were curious about. There were specifics about Storm Legion, for example, that he couldn’t reveal, but for the most part, he answered the questions very thoroughly. He delved into some interesting subjects including the different types of PvP players in RIFT, the MMO industry’s past, the MMO industry’s future, the future of the Bard soul, and Trion’s stance on one day turning toward a free-to-play model.
Massively published an article yesterday in which the author takes a closer look at the answers Hartsman issued about these subjects, and speculates a bit about what they might mean for the future of RIFT.
Here’s an excerpt that focuses on PvP:
Some players expressed dissatisfaction with the new three-faction Conquest instance and believe that Trion has neglected its PvP community. Hartsman gave a surprising answer, with a little pushback to the oft-heard complaint:
On segmentation.. One thing I’ve definitely noticed since we got Rift off the ground – is that a lot of people use “PvP Player” as if it was a single minded segment that’s easy to address, “if only we’d listen!” I’ll use a totally unfair and exaggerated example just for illustration’s sake – It’s almost like referring to “The Liquid Drinking Public” and trying to come up with one answer that fits them all – while forgetting that even among themselves, there are many, many contradictory opinions.
At this point, there are at least a dozen types of “PvP players” out there, who all tend to describe themselves as “The PvP Player.” People who think arenas are the end all be all, but want gear progression. People who want TF2 – No gear, just cosmetics, perfect balance. Bring your skill only. People who want Frontiers. People who want Alterac Valley. People who for some reason REALLY enjoyed six hours of “beat up the keep door” in games in the past (PvDoor? Did we just invent a new genre here?) …and plenty more.
The best we can do in this world is to make the best PvP that we can, that actually fits in our gameplay system, and hope an audience is there to enjoy it. Could we pick one of those pre-existing types of PvP and do a more focused and modern updated version of it? Absolutely. But we’re trying to make our own way. That will yield some fun things, and there will also be missteps along the way. So – Short answer. Do we value our PvP players? Damn right. Do we plan on continuing to trying to create and refine our own PvP? Hell yes. Is everything we do going to make everyone who identifies themself as “a PvP player” happy? Not a chance. Maybe half if we’re super lucky.
This reply really highlights something that often gets overlooked, which is that we easily identify the wide range of PvE playstyles but don’t always acknowledge the same to be true of PvP players. It’s refreshing to hear a game designer talk about some of those different playstyles, but it also helps explain the challenges of making a game that includes both PvE and PvP content. He went on to say that Conquest took months of work from the team in order to create 1,000 player matches on live servers and make it work. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Trion continues to tweak PvP and plan new PvP content to satisfy a greater number of PvP playstyles.
Interesting stuff, and I agree– the fact that there are different types of PvP players doesn’t get acknowledged very often in the MMORPG world. Check out the full article here.