Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Age of Conan's PvP System

Well it looks like Funcom pushed the first iteration of their PvP system onto their test server and it looks like a doosie. It's a combination of notoriety and PvP levels working together to form a "risk versus reward" system. Basically players gain 100 PvP experience by killing a similar level player, but lose a static amount of PvP experience by dying. Thus if you routinely die more often then you win a fight, you're not going to be racing through the levels. Luckily, you can't lose a PvP level once earned so you don't have to worry about that being a problem. The rewards are spread across ten PvP levels and actually have to be purchased by the player.

What really makes the PvP system interesting is that notoriety will greatly affect players who try to gain PvP levels by going on a killing spree. Players can either be flagged as innocent, criminal, or murderer. Innocents can't be attacked without flagging yourself as a criminal and gaining murder points. Criminals stay flagged for 5 minutes unless they attack another innocent or do another activity which re-flags them. If a criminal manages to gain 100 murder points then they become flagged as a murderer. Only time will de-flag you as a murderer and it looks like 1 hour of real time will decay 1 murder point. The penalties for being a murder are quite stiff and should be avoided.

Murderers lose double the PvP experience when they die and give double the PvP experience to people who kill them. Murderers will also dropped one of their items when killed by a player. Guards will attack murderers on site and Traders will not talk to them. Any players who trade or group with a murderer or criminal will be flagged a criminal. It's basically the line you don't want to cross unless you enjoy the notoriety. The entire system seems designed to encourage some ganking and PvP, but griefing will quickly rack up the murder points. Killing players at a rez point, at a zone line, or who are lower level then you seems to increase the number of murder points.

There are definitely going to be some ways to abuse this system especially with the amount of bugs that Funcom usually has in it's code. Still the system looks fun on paper and might actually be a step above what World of Warcraft offers. There are a couple unanswered questions I have that mainly revolve how the PvP mini games and siege wars fit into the system. Also this system will probably encouraging griefers to level up multiple characters, that way they can simply log out when they become flagged as a murderer. Another issue is that Funcom is going to have to be careful when setting murder points penalties. After all if a player kills a really low level innocent by an accidental AOE, how many murder points do they deserve? I don't want to have to spend a day camped out simply because a level 20 got in the way when I used a 2hand combo.

P.S This is the first iteration and we can expect things to change as bugs and exploits are pointed out by the testers.

Actual Patch Notes: http://forums-tl.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=35914


Openedge1 said...

Starting to feel the "Too little, too late" syndrome here.

The buggy code is killing these guys, and the fact they cannot find the major issues still (todays patch fixed "SOME" memory leaks, but people are still getting the Gray map, OOM error) proves AoC may be out of commission for a while.

Hopefully the PvP can at least keep what players are left.

Relmstein said...

The PvP system may be too late to keep their numbers impressive, but I have a strong feeling they'll stay above most other games. You got to remember that no other western game has more then 300k subscribers. Age of Conan may be a buggy lag fest but until we hear about server mergers it still probably has more players then LOTR, EVE, and COH.

It will be interesting to see what the release of Warhammer does to the subscriber numbers though.

Rhey said...

the best part of the system is that since every attack has splash damage you can flag other players as criminals by walking past thier mobs. Then kill them without getting any murder points yourself and also giving them murder points if they manage to kill you. so you can walk around as an innocent and still be a total dick to everyone you see.

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