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Illum Open PVP Gameplay Proposal


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Dear Community, dear Bioware :)


The open pvp zone actually doesn't work as intended. I think that we can all agree on that statement if you simply take a look at what is happening there right now.


I would like to make a proposal how to change gameplay on Illum, cause I really love this game, I love to do PVP and instead of posting another rant about how bad it works right now, I took my time to make a constructive hopefully thoroughly thought out proposal by myself.


Basic assumptions


Well, ...


- we all love to have the freedom to simply enter a open pvp zone without a warzone like queue

- we are all looking for getting some action

- we are all looking for ways to gain more valor

- we are all looking for ways to get better items



what always leads us to the fact, that if you can trick the gameplay mechanic to achieve one of the last two points it will be done. (as seen on Illum the last two months)


and more over: we are all demotivated and even frustrated by simply being outnumbered by the other faction, so that you simply don't have a chance, cause you simply don't get the numbers.


General problem


I think the general problem with open PVP will always be balancing of factions - and will always be scaling in terms of performance, if it really comes to "massive" in MMO ;)


The solution


My basic idea is to work with another notion of what "open PVP" really means and how the gameplay is designed.


In my understanding "open PVP" should mean:


an epic raid against the other faction in an open environment, including other real-players, without excluding NPCs by definition.

Why don't we mix the ideas of


- open PVP

- instancing

- world bosses


The idea isn't totally new, but I think if it works depends on how it is done in detail. So why not use NPCs to balance the amount of people participating in the battle within the open PVP zone at that given time?


Why not use instancing as a way of seamlessly balacing those battles without creating a queue to keep the character of an open zone, where I can go to whenever I like.


Why not give your raid a specific target, which has to be killed to achieve your daily/weekly goals?


Example Scenario


To explain my idea in detail, I wrote down this scenario:


Each faction has a base. Each base has an NPC commander. Republic a mighty jedi. Imps a mighty sith. Your goal for your weekly Illum quest is to either:


Conquer the hostile base OR to defend you own base. Both goals will get you the daily done.


Imagine the imperial side puts a raid together of 16 people and starts to attack the republican base, which only has 6 defenders at that given time.


The base is seperated into basicly two different zones:


#1 Zone - outside the base and the "entry hall" of the base


The zone is a barrier a raid has to overcome, to trigger an event, which will start a kind of "enrage timer" for the whole battle about this base.


It is protected by npcs and guns (more about their aggro concept later on) in an intelligent scaled way, to make sure, that only a seriously put together raid, with a nice balance of PVP healers, tanks and damage dealers is able to get through alive. This keeps away single players or small groups lower than i.e. 8 people to start a battle.


If it is triggered by a raid overcoming this "point of no return" the aggressors has to take down the hostile NPC commander within a given amount of time to win the battle. The reason for that is, that after the trigger the hostile NPC commander is calling for reinforcements. Those reinforcements will take the defined amount of time to arrive and will definitely end the attack by outnumbering the aggressor massively. If the defending party is able to hold their base until the reinforcements arrive, the will make the point an win their daily.


#2 Zone - inside the building


Inside the building will the battle preponderantly take place. In the middle of the room: the hostile NPC commander. He will have a massive amount of hitpoints but he won't act as a typical PVE encounter, which has to be tanked etc. - and he won't deal a lot of damage, but will have a damage output as an average geared pvp player, with random aggro running around and switching targets.


The goal is to take him down during the pvp fight, which will only work, if you split your damage outpout among the defenders. If you just focus on him you won't make it. if you just zerg to much around him you won't make it in time.


If the battle is imbalanced in terms of numbers - as mentioned in my example scenario - the republican players will be supported by even more "PVP NPCs" than the commander.


PVP NPC means:


It means that


- they have a kind of "intelligent" random aggro

- taunt works the same way as with real players (just reducing damage if not attacking the tank)

- same amount of hitpoints as "normal" PVP player

- same amount of damage or healing output as a normal player

- artificial intelligence to immitate typical pvp patterns



what does artificial intelligence mean in this case:


- they will shield players having the biggest damage income

- they will heal player having a high damage income

- they will stun from time to time

- they will support real PVP players attacking the same target

- maybe they will even try to run away if they are low on hitpoints and don't get any healing


all of this they will not do in a perfect way, as a perfect pvp player would do.

it is more randomlly - or even better: they adapt to the way the real player group plays


for example:


the real player group has an heal specced player.

if he doesn't heal, but does damage instead, the PVP NPC decides to do the same


if the healer focuses on healing his group, the PVP NPC is "inspired" by that and will do the same.

if a real player tank, only does damage, without taunting and shielding, the PVP NPCs will do the same.


can't be to complicated to implement this kind of artificial intelligence ... I guess ;) The real pvp player are "inspiring" or better "show leadership" to the PVP NPCs.



when the battle is over a kind of "respawn" timer will start:


case 1: base could be defended

the defenders reinforcement will stay there for an hour or so, to make it impossible to attack right again.


case 2: base could be conquered

the aggressors reinforcements will arrive and hold the base for an hour, to get everything valuable out there ;)


this will hopefully motivate the defenders to now think of attacking the aggressors base in return. now of course everything would switch and in my case the republicans would be supported during their attack by "PVP NPCs" now.


both parties have spawn/taxi points within their own base and infront of the hostile base entry point. the whole area will nevertheless remain an open pvp zone.




So in my eyes this could fix a lot of problems. You still have the feeling of it beeing an open pvp space, where you can randomly join other pvp players to form up a raid and attack the hostiles.


You have an interesting daily goal (which basically is a daily random pvp raid group, which doesn't have to worry to much about special encounter PVE like tactics - nice), which will force you to put together a well balanced PVP raid-group working together.


PVP NPCs and guns with a feasible AI will balance numbers on both sides. Instancing of course can be used, to keep the overall raid size managable in terms of performance.


And I haven't found an obvious way to trick this mechanic (yet) to quickly farm valor and items.


You can't attack in small groups, due to first zone of the base, which acts as an barrier, before the time based "enrage timer" starts to tick. (and I would set there a limit - that you need for example at least a group of 8 or 12 real player, to be able to attack at all)


even if there is no one to defend the base at all, the PVP NPCs and the Commander would be a tough fight for the raid and they will loose, if the won't be able to heal and shield their group mates properly


it still wouldn't be like a typical PVE experience - but would still be as "chaotic" and dynamic, as pvp fights are, due to the random aggro and typical PVP mechanics also the PVP NPCs make use of.


Between those two bases you can still implement more ideas to encourage player to engage in the open field inbetween those big battles.


Well - to go further into the detail I prolly could keep on writing here for a long time, but I am sure, that you could find a solution for all the problems, you for sure will find now after reading it ;) (and I am interest in your opinion and problem you might see!)


But I hope you all get an understanding of what I am basically talking about, I am of course curious to hear what you think?


PVP NPCs - is this doable? Or do you see to big balancing problems with that?


Would you like to have this mixed experience with PVP NPCs joining, if you then get a more balanced fight and more often good action every day in return?


Do you have more ideas? What do you like, what you don't like?


Thanks for reading it!

Edited by Barathold
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