Amazon Game Studios loves Twitch (Breakaway, New World, Crucible)

Sigh. All I needed to read about this game. Off with me.

I’ve been watching bounty systems fail in MMO systems for probably decades now. I don’t know how many times I have to see so and so offered to help me, took me in the middle of the woods, and then kill me shouted in some sort of global OOC. Which is why I agree with this:

I believe the PvP will be optional at release.

You can’t go by videos or anything else from the beta testers, as one of the results of those tests was a complete rework of the game. It’s no longer full-PvP survival. It’s now an open-world MMO with questing and other PvE content. The land-claiming elements are still there. PvP remains in, as well, but the “always-on” gankfest is out. This has upset a fair bit of the game’s gank-loving fanbase. Good :)

There is another round of testing coming before release, so we’ll get to see the rework and find out where they landed on the WoW-to-Rust spectrum. Also note, if you pre-ordered years ago when Amazon had it listed for free, you’ll still get the game at that price. I got an email last month telling me they’d honor that with a free key.

Well that is interesting.

Heh, well i guess if they didn’t want people who didn’t like the gankfest elements, they should have more people play it ahead of buying it or at least advertise it as different. It seemed way more MMO than survival to me as well.

Amazon released a detailed statement on their PvP plans today. I like their approach. Here are the key bits, the lessons they learned in alpha and how they plan to react:

One of the problems we observed was that some high-level players were killing low level players, A LOT. Sometimes exclusively. This often led to solo or group griefing scenarios that created a toxic environment for many players. To be clear, this behavior was not shown by all PvP players, but enough to cause significant issues.

We set out to build a compelling world full of danger and opportunity that begs to be explored. The intended design was never to allow a small group of players to bully other players. Based on what we saw, we realized that we needed to make fundamental changes and not just incremental fixes, (which we tried several times during the Closed Alpha).

There has been speculation that we have moved away from PvP, this isn’t the case at all. PvP is important to us and we are committed to ensuring it plays a significant role in our game. To be specific, by PvP we mean, fair fights that are organized, skill based, and opted into by all participants. Not PKing (Player Killing), which is a predatory behavior that relies on exploiting another player’s lack of experience, progress, readiness, or willingness. So for those folks who desire that harsh PVP environment, New World may not be your favorite game, however, we do hope you enjoy the PVP we will offer. We are unlikely to provide PVP-only servers as it would divide our development resources and community, We could investigate this again at a later date but it’s not something we are going to support at launch. We believe that the changes and improvements we’ve made to the game since the Closed Alpha are far more compelling for the majority of players.

In the current design, players in New World experience PvP by opting into Faction conflicts and Wars for territory ownership. Opting into these PvP experiences will be extremely rewarding, often granting you exclusive in-game bonuses and rewards for your efforts…

At a high level, War will be 50 versus 50 PvP battles by appointment. Companies will declare War on territories they wish to take over, draft a roster of 50 combatants, and agree on timing for the battle. The War will take place on a protected battlefield, keeping anyone who isn’t confirmed to participate, out.

Exec Summary: We didn’t like the packs of naked, club-wielding assholes hanging around the borders of every safe zone, so we’re not doing that sort of PvP in live. It’s opt-in, scheduled, consensual and rewarding.

I like PvP, but I have zero interest in PK/ Griefing. I will try this at launch. Link to the reddit thread follows. There is a lot more detail, and also some discussion of their PvE content:

Oh - this sounds interesting. I am not really interested in PVP mostly, but the kind of Realm vs Realm that took place in Warhammer Online, was fantastic. I still have fond memories of standing in a shield wall, should to shoulder with a lot of other tanks, holding out the enemy from our keep, for HOURS! It was intense, but a lot of fun.

That sounds like a well thought out design for PVP. Interesting!

Well sort of. It’s not as if the problems of PK were unheard of before they created the Alpha, nor is Realm Vs Realm even a new mechanic. I just don’t know why they had a lot of people go through that poor experience in Alpha and then their next step were some words and buy the game. But hey, I am sure making another PvP focused MMO will make this one super successful unlike all the other ones before it.

I only quoted the PvP stuff, as this was the big change. There’s info about the PvE content in the full release, too. I don’t think this is primarily a PvP game, now. It appears to be an open world MMO with survival and building elements, with optional group-based PvP. That seems an unusual mix to me.

No idea if it’ll work, of course.

I don’t know if you guys remember Shadowbane but I know the Wanderers had a core group of people who loved that game and played the heck out of it. Leveling in that game was pretty much just to get you to the point where you could do PVP, and they had massive city assauls where you scheduled it… sort of like they’re talking about here. I know for the people who enjoy that kind of activity Shadowbane was quite a draw so perhaps New World is turning out to be a little bit like that.

There is a contingent of people who like PVP on a convenient schedule… Like They had in Daek a Age of Camelot RVR, or the RVR in Warhammer online. Perhaps this game will appeal to that type of person.

I don’t think Amazon ever lifted their NDA on this.

The threat of being griefed was one of the best things about UO. A fantasy world with friends, monsters, villains and foes.

But now there are too many games on offer, so the griefing population would be a much higher % compared to ‘careabears’ so as to make it impossible.

I like the threat of being griefed out there, and knowing that certain areas are more dangerous than others…

I’ve always enjoyed the ‘danger around every corner’ feeling of open ffa pvp. Mostly stopped playing WoW when open world pvp died. I do enjoy when there are mechanics in place to reduce repeated ganking, but I still miss true open world pvp. Fond memories of trying to level in the frontier for bonus xp at the risk of enemies, or Darkness Falls, or Darktide, so many fun times.

Also I typically didn’t mind going solo in games even when they tend to be towards groups. I considered it a victory to pick off a single player in a group and try to get away or simply to stay hidden until the whole group had left.

I only ever played Asheron’s Call as open ffa pvp. It was a great game. Definitely the most frightening horror game I’ve ever played. Every encounter with another player was truly scary in a way no other game I’ve played has ever captured.

So the FFA PVP or nothing crowd won’t like this, and PVE and no PVP won’t either so… Amazon is making a game no one wants. I’m sure it will turn out great then.

Ding ding ding :)

Well shit, in that case they should double-down and make it a Stadia exclusive.

Nah, its just the normal people complaining because a game isn’t exactly how they want it. Honestly, this seems like one that could potentially become really interesting and big.

I am very interested right now and will probably purchase it to join the beta.

IMHO people who love FFA PVP are a small but vocal minority.

Well it’s not really this because they never lifted the NDA. The people talking about it don’t really have much experience with the game or can’t share it. There are number who have had actual experience with it, the PVP problem was 100% predictable.

The ganking problem has been following MMOs around for years. I am not sure why every new game has to pretend like they don’t know that.