the last couple of days I've had some fun discussions with Baqqfisch about PvP-games in general, how they approach team building, objectives and skill-involvement in their systems.
About how Albion Online for example tries to limit GvG fights to 5v5/20v20, which is great in our eyes, but then has a combat system that is mostly decided by gear/ressources, meaning that in the end the 5v5 fights are merely a result of the amount of PvE grind you've put in to level up your character and craft the gear.
How AO has a game-mode that doesn't really promote different tactics. And that all competetive teams look kinda the same, even though the system allows you to instantly switch your class in a fight.
Or for example how Guild Wars 2 has a class system that shoehorns you into very few builds based on the class you picked; how every second skill is ground-based AoE and the PvP is just a lot of "1click2click3click" with a lot of random dodging.
Despite the combo system most builds are "catch-all" builds that primarily have to survive/kill on their own, and thus you get mostly 1v1 or small situations despite the objectives being way better than for example Albion. (But still not as good as those in GW1; really compared to GW1, GW2 is a disgrace. Not even $400k from ArenaNet could get a scene up)
We've obviously talked about Das Tal as well and I noticed that it is actually pretty hard to pinpoint what exactly the vision regarding Group PvP is.
On one side, you have the Open World where solo players need to be able to stand on their own with just 10 skills. On the other side, you have objective-based sieges where you can inflate numbers up and up to a point where every single skill in the game can be part of a fight. But then you also have small-scale fights where you have more skills available but are still limited.
Thats pretty much 3 different design approaches already. And most of them are incosistent (you don't have fixed 5v5 like Albion Online, every mode is open in numbers).
So we've had a lot of discussions about the direction of PvP in Das Tal. Whether or not there'd be GW2-like problem of everyone using builds tailored towards 1vX because it's always effective; whether or not gear will actually have roles, or just obvious combinations with little variance.
We've always came to a point where we said "Well, we don't know what they exactly plan to do." So I thought: Why not just find out? Used the search function, googled a bit, but couldn't find very fitting questions/answers.
So I compiled a list of questions I'd like to see answered, if possible!
- 1) We realize that this is an Open World game. But skill-based combat and endless numbers simply contradict each other.
If you are a clan of 10, you will never ever win vs a clan of 20+. The only way this is happening is taking the DAoC approach of having godlike-AoE skills that basically force the smaller clan(and everyone that wants to be relevant in PvP) to use very specific builds. MUSHROOOOOMS!!11
Even in EVE Online, a game where you definitely have both the numbers and the skillgames, there's just a certain point where winning vs a larger fleet is just using very specific fleet compositions.
So how is Das Tal going to ensure that skill actually matters in the end?
Will there be even servers with limited numbers, i.e. servers where clans/alliances can not be more than 10 in a siege/objective-fight, to get rid of the problem altogether?
- 1.1) Is an arena system with matchmaking and all that jazz even part of the game's vision at all, or completely out of the question?
The combat system is such fun that I could see myself queuing up with a stack 5 other players all the time, and then using the Open World to unwind/have more relaxed PvP/PvE fun.
- 2) A skill that looks great in 1v1 could be garbage in 5v5, and not even thought about in 30v30. Are you looking to introduce skills for each scale, or is there a specific "average scale" you're thinknig about when balancing/designing skills?
- 3) How much influence are weapons and armor ssupposed to have on a player's role? Are there even supposed to be roles? If yes, which ones?
- 4) How fast-paced is the combat movement supposed to be? Should fights be more slow and steady, with defined lines(front-, mid-, backline), or more dynamic with no clear lines and the combatants pretty much in the middle of everything? This is directly related to question (3).
- 5) How fast-paced is the general combat supposed to be? Right now every skill costs energy, but players have so much energy and energy management options that running out of it takes a while. Stasis and Tumble are bigger reasons to not attack than your own energy is. So outside of these skills, you're attacking pretty much all the time.
- 6) Are objectives supposed to be just reasons to fight, or influence the fight themselves? Different objectives can change how players build their teambuilds and greatly influence the dynamic of a fight as well. Just surviving is very different to bringing an item from point A to B, or having to stand in a specific location.
Sorry for posting yet another wall of text. But this should also help post feedback that actually helps you, instead of asking for things that aren't intended to work like that in the game anyway!