Saturday, 23 November 2013

Let's talk about KZA, cutthroat, and PvP in general

If you've been on the official forums at all, then you'll know there was recently a huge uproar about this one player who PKs people at bandits in HC, which subsequently branched out into a general uproar about bandit PKing in general.

Let me state for the record that I have no substantive problem with the bandit PK mechanics as they stand. If you don't want to read "if your party mate chooses differently, you will have to fight them" then you deserve what you get for it. The lack of delay between the last player to choose and the beginning of the fight may deserve some looking at, but adding a delay or checkbox would pretty much completely wipe out any and all bandit PKers. And in that case, what is the party fight mechanic even for? Other than that one duel with the Russian guys, and I think that's more demonstrative of broken PvP mechanics than anything else.

Mostly, though, I figure I can always either manage to pick last, or open a portal right next to me while standing as far away as possible from whoever hasn't picked yet. That should be standard practice anyway, the portal thing. There will always be sufficient time to make one click and especially if he's halfway across the screen. (If he refuses to stay halfway across the screen, you may want to port out, as he clearly does not have your best interests at heart.) This is not even counting friends, guildies, etc. whom one finds trustworthy.

There is no reason to die to a bandit PKer except carelessness.

Cutthroat, now that's a different story. I like cutthroat. I think it's absolutely hilarious to enter someone else's instance and kill them, and I even think it's hilarious when it happens to me and my party. I mean, we're playing CT, that's what we signed up for. With a larger player base, though, I would definitely recommend controls to be implemented, since camping is always an issue. (Potential control measure: damage scaling on level difference?)

A long-term CT league, whether HC or SC, is likely to be guild-dominated and run a lot of maps. Maps are THE safe haven, given the portal system. The Eternal Lab is a public instance, though, so one has to be careful coming back through the gateway...because logging out/in is for cheaters, so of course everyone's going to do it. That might be an issue.

On the third hand, equipment standards in this game are ridiculously varied. That has to be fixed if any longer-term CT leagues are to ever find their footing. Since items drop on death, there will essentially be zero pollution issue with SC leagues (see also Descent: Champions) so it may be possible to make CT the basis for self-found league, or crafting league, or any other idea that has already been stated. Crafting league in particular. Balance is either everyone mediocre or everyone OP, and while I do see certain builds being superior, item distribution is a much greater threat to build equality in a PvP setting. And as long as we're talking about fooling around with item mechanics, may as well remove Aegis, etc.

There's a lot more to balancing a long-term CT league, or even a longer-term one than 5 hours, but just some thoughts from a balance perspective. I would love to see it happen.

someone else's thoughts on the matter

I've been asked to go back on SC and play PvP. Apparently <ICU> is the #1 SC PvP guild, and let's be honest here, there's no real reason to do serious PvP in any other league, because SC is where all the best items are, and because PvP is - by design - isolated from the rest of the game. PvP tournaments are coming out soon, too.

And then there was that one guy who posted a speedhack build for capture-the-flag play.

I feel that PvP is not well enough explored, but I recognise the trouble of balancing PvP - for all situations or otherwise - in a primarily PvE game. It's not even easy to do in a primarily PvP game. PvE's just simpler all around.

We'll see.

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