Part 1: How much do the games cost and which extra security against hacked accounts do they offer?
Part 2: What can I play (races and classes?)
Part 3: What do the games look like?
Part 4: What’s there to fight against (PvE)?
Today’s topic: Who’s there to fight against (PVP)?
All three games offer PvP of some sort. I’m starting with the game that has the least amount of PvP: LotRO.
LotRO’s “PvP-system” is lacking. There is one zone, the Ettenmoors, where PvP takes place. Creeps are part of the Monster Play system. Outside of this zone, you cannot play your creeps. And outside of this zone, there is no PvP in LotRO. So if you cannot live without PvP in your MMO, you might consider WoW or Rift instead. On the other hand, if you do not care that much or enjoy the idea of monster play, then have a look at this system. It is done quite nicely, I think. It would not have made too much sense to let the free people fight against each other like that. So it is nice to have this added “second faction” for only this zone. The screenshot on the right shows my defiler standing on a bridge in the PvP-zone. The interface for creeps is red while the interface for the free people (“freeps”) is blue. Unfortunately, the customization of the characters is quite lacking. You can, for example, choose the defiler class (the healer). Every defiler looks the same. The higher your PvP rank, the more “appearances” are unlocked which you can buy. Have a look here (scroll down to “Class Appearance Traits”). Not much changes in the way your character itself looks but at least, you get some more visible armour and might look more dangerous to the enemy. The Weaver (<– careful! Pictures of spiders!) has lots of different colours which I like better.
The Ettenmoors is one big map with the creeps on one side and the freeps on the other. There are different objectives, like fortresses, that you can capture. When you start with your creep the class is very weak. Like, very very weak. The problem here is that lots of people do not want you in their raid. They want players with a higher PvP rank because those are stronger. If you are not in a raid, you will have to try to get PvP points yourself (which happens by killing freep players). The defiler, as the standard healer, has trouble doing that. You are there to heal but not many people want you in their raid. And no matter how much you heal other players, if you are not in a raid/group with them, you do not get any points for healing. This is a serious issue for me. I want to be rewarded for what I am doing and not for who I am grouped with.
WoW offers arena (team death-match with premade groups on both sides and a ladder-system), instanced PvP in the form of battlegrounds (different battlegrounds have different sizes ranging from 10 on each side to 40. In order to win, you have to fulfill certain objectives) and open world PvP (either by roaming through the world and attacking players from the other faction that are PvP flagged or by participating in the two open world PvP zones, Lake Wintergrasp and Tol Barad). The screenshot on the right shows one of those battlegrounds. My group is still forming and the fight hasn’t started yet. The open world PvP zones are usually “inactive”. After a certain amount of time, the fight starts. One side – either Horde or Alliance – owns the keep, the other one attacks. There are siege weapons etc. to use (also available in some of WoW’s battlegrounds). If the attacking side wins, they will defend the zone the next time. If they don’t succeed, they will have to try again the next time. The screenshot on the left shows Tol Barad in the middle of a fight.
WoW also has PvP servers on which you are always PvP-flagged (only starter areas are safe). This also leads to players with the max level being able to attack and kill low level players – the infamous “corpse camping” included. When you die in WoW, you have to run back to your corpse to revive (unless you are in a battleground where you have certain spawn points where you return). Usually, the attacking player waits around to have some more fun once you’re back. ;) Players of WoW sometimes complain that there is no open PvP left. Apart from the ganking (high level player attacks low level player and thanks to the way the game works, the low level player has no chance to defend successfully), there aren’t many reasons to do any PvP in the open world.
Rift offers PvP servers as well with the same mechanic: Always PvP-flagged with the exception of your starter area. Here, when you die, you can also respawn at a safe place (inside the nearest quest hub), so corpse camping is not done that often. Rift also features Warfronts which is basically the same as WoW’s battlegrounds (the screenshot shows the interface where you can queue for a warfront). They implemented “Ancient Wardstones” in the open world which can be claimed by either faction and can subsequently be upgraded to make them stronger. The opposing faction can destroy those wardstones. If you claim all wardstones in a zone, zone events can be triggered. According to this, a beast spawns (that can only happen once every 20 hours) and as rewards, it also drops epic loot. Since Rift features rifts in the open world, there might be an incentive to fight in the open world against the other faction – even if it’s only to be mean to the other side who are trying to defeat a Rift. ;) In WoW, there aren’t that many group encounters outside of instances, so it’s probably more difficult to find larger groups of players to fight against.
This is it for today. The next posting will be about the crafting. And as always: If you have any questions or found a mistake, please comment. :)