PVP and griefer concerns

Personally, I am not a fan of PVP. While I enjoyed Overwatch before VR came out, and I like Bullets and More in VR, I do NOT like mmo pvp. I started playing mmo’s with Aion and I got real tired of being ganked by some kid hiding behind a tree. The first time I’m “ganked”, I’m freakin’ GONE! PVP set up like in The Division is great; you can choose to go to the area or not. No killing unsuspecting people.
In addition, having progression tied to PVP is deal killer.

I’m really hoping that you guys are learning from the people/devs around you; people can, and will be the biggest a__holes that you can imagine. In order for an mmo to work, there will need to be personal protection methods and space as shown in games like Altspace. I sincerely hope that you guys are not just assuming that people will be nice. I also really hope that you put in a separate area for PVP to see how it works rather than just assuming that it is what people want.

Expect and prepare for griefers, pvp is just going to add fuel to the bonfire. If you are not careful, you’ll have a few kids trying to grief an empty game. Griefers in VR are a whole different animal, I hope that you are preparing for them.

Ah! Thanks, it sounds like this is something that I will pass on. Hopefully someone else will make another mmo someday. Best of luck to everyone!

Kiel: While I appreciate (greatly) your enthusiasm for the game, please refrain from responding to posts like this and speaking authoritatively about what the game will/won’t have when we haven’t set anything in stone yet, and most of this stuff (especially regarding the PvP) we still haven’t solidified internally, let alone spoken about publicly.

For example, this: “If you want loot from a boss, but are too weak to beat it then ambush people that just defeated it.” is simply not true for the vast majority of the bosses in the game.

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To answer your original question, griefing for no reason other than to grief is something that we’re attempting to design the mechanics to actively discourage. It’s interesting that you mention the Division, because that’s actually one of our main inspirations for the Wilds, which are our “max level” zones.

I’m going to go into this in full detail in our next blog post, but here are the bullet points:

  • Attacking someone makes you a bandit. This puts a bounty on your head, and there are pretty severe penalties for dying while a bandit. The idea is that if someone is carrying something through the Wilds that might be worth fighting over, it’s worth the risk. But it would be silly (and not very fun) to attack people for no reason just to “grief” them (unless your idea of fun is making a 20 minute trek back to where you just died, and losing a lot of money in repair costs).

  • If you are a bandit for long enough, you will eventually build up an “infamy” score that will cause you to become “Wanted.” This will result in a large, permanent bounty being placed on your head, and players can collect that bounty by killing you anywhere in the world, even in “safer” areas.

  • Loot upgrades will come from running dungeons, which are instanced and are not PvP areas. You do have to go through a PvP area to get to them, but again our goal here is not “it takes forever to get to someplace and your whole night is ruined by griefers”.

  • Currently there are 9 main-world zones in the games (not counting things like dungeons/instances). Of those, the level 1-20 zones are very safe (as in, if someone attacks you there they will die nearly instantly due to a guard attacking them), and the 4 Wilds zones (which are the max-level 20 zones) are less safe (using the bandit system described above). We’re also considering adding controlled/organized PvP areas to the game as well such as arenas or battlegrounds, but those will likely come in a future update. All dungeon instances are no-PvP zones.

There’s a lot more to it than that, including how the loot system works in PvP zones (in short: you never lose anything that is ‘soulbound’ to you (i.e. any of your own stuff), but you can lose stuff that you just acquired if it’s tradable and you don’t equip it because you’re planning to sell it).

If you’re 100% against the entire idea of PvP in general, then I’m not sure if it’s the game for you or not. But if you just don’t want to play a game where PvP happens all over the place in unexpected ways, where there are loads of griefers ruining the game for everyone, etc, then I can strongly say that is not what we’re going for here. You’ll know (and prepare for) times when you are going into PvP zones, dungeons will have instanced wings where you can do your PvE content in peace, etc.

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Yeah, sorry I am just really excited about the game.

No worries, just want to make sure misinformation doesn’t get out there and all that.

See you in-game soon!

Sounds like you have some pretty cool ideas regarding PvP! Also, its nice to see some solid explanation of some of the more technical mechanics that will be coming to the game.

While it sounds like you are already have a good idea of what types of penalties there should be for both dying and killing other players, could I make an argument for having very minor penalties for both cases? There is one game I am thinking of in particular with a low-stakes open-world PvP system, and I think it leads to some rather interesting behaviour. The game I am referring to is “Wakfu” by the French developer Ankama. It is a game with a pretty small player base (similar to what I would expect an early VR MMORPG to have), and while the game itself has some problems (glitchy, mismanaged) a lot of the fundamental ideas in it are pretty unique and interesting.

In Wakfu, PvP works like this: PvP is allowed anywhere outside of the bigger cities and the starter island, and can be initiated by one party without the consent of the other. In order to attack someone, you need to first turn on PvP mode, which is visible to all other players (referred to as “putting wings/flags up” because the indicator has two flags of varying size depending on your ranking - not important here). While in PvP mode, you can be attacked with no penalty beyond the usual PvM death penalty, which is just a slight debuff for a short period after respawning. Being attacked while not in PvP mode and dying has the same penalty, however your attacker is marked as a criminal, forcing them to remain in PvP mode and causing them to lose access to the fast-transport ability until their crimes are cleared, which can either be done by someone else killing you or by serving out time in jail. Criminal status is tracked in each zone separately.

There is also a faction system involved, and attacking people within your faction is also criminal, but that system as a whole is pretty complicated and not very important to the point.

Due to the very light punishments for both dying and for criminally attacking someone, this results in attacks being done not for monetary gain or some direct reward, but rather for more abstracted reasons. For example, if you are competing with someone for resources but you are confident you could overpower them in a fight, you are able to do so and claim the resources for yourself. Attacking someone unprovoked is universally recognized as a jerk move though, and the victim could easily seek help from stronger, more noble players. Things like that happened pretty regularly when I played the game, and I thought it was an entertaining side effect of the PvP system they had. From what lore we do know about the game, it sounds like the faction system you are putting in place could provide some incentive to engage in “safe zone PvP”, too.

If you do want monetary reward to be a part of PvP, I think the “soulbound” equipment idea is solid, letting people adventure into PvP zones with some risk, but without worrying about losing their equipment, but I think having PvP in “safer” areas with no consequence to the victim and only slight consequence to the aggressor would promote interesting gameplay. Just a thought.


Definitely like some of the ideas you laid out with pvp flags and the like.

I noticed in @Riley_D 's post he mentioned that most items will be ‘soulbound’. I guess I don’t know how deaths will work (ghost running to/from a graveyard or healer), but when I think of high risk - high reward pvp, I always go back to Ultima Online. The ability to lose everything when you die really raises the stakes and both rewards and punishes those who pvp. I also don’t know how the shards as servers will function, but it could be interesting to have a “hardcore” shard where nothing is soulbound. Wherever you die, whether by PVM or PVP your body is lootable. For the first 5-10 mins looting the body of someone (or something, i.e. a monster) you did not kill will count as a criminal act (maybe less criminal points than murder?), after the initial period the body opens up and anyone can loot punishment free.

I don’t know whether I’d play on that shard myself, but the popularity of games like DayZ (had the same everything is loot mechanic) and the fact that people still play Ultima Online 20+ years after it came out makes me think that a hardcore shard might appeal to some people.

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Will there be any ‘wild’ areas with specialized resources?
Preferably where PvP is unhindered at all. Even 1 scary looking area would suffice.

I suppose I’m a fan of world PvP, and to constantly be wondering about a bounty level would deter me from partaking in PvP (which is the point of a bounty of course), but it would be nice to have a large area where PvP is unhindered. I imagine only a certain player type would ever go there, but that would sort of be the point. A reputation would be created around the area and the people who frequent it.

I am a fan of the bounty system in any case.

So, there are 4 “Wilds” zones at launch. They are where the dungeon entrances are and where some of the best resources are to gather / monsters to hunt. In those zones there is still a bandit system, but there are no guards so it’s up to the players to attack bandits if they want to see justice served.

The goal with the tradable/soulbound system is to create a situation where there is competition for some resources, such as crafting ingredients, while preventing people who are just walking through the zone from being targets. Since you can’t lose your gear once it’s equipped, but you can lose valuable items you may be collecting in the area, I think it will hopefully give a nice balance between people who ‘choose’ to participate in PvP via the economy, and people who don’t want anything to do with PvP but still want to be able to do dungeons and other PvE content.

Of course as I’ve said previously we’ll just have to see how it all starts playing out once the game is further along. At this point it’s all theorycrafting.


Maybe not for launch, but somewhere down the road it could be interesting to have a whole multi-zone “wild frontier” that includes a town with no NPC guards, where outlaw types could hang out (a “wretched hive of scum and villainy”), maybe even areas where PvP kills don’t earn you a bounty, and the soulbound restrictions are relaxed, as @Paul_L suggested.

It would be a good place for bandits to socialize and offload their ill-gotten gains, and non-bandit players (especially those renting expensive merchant stalls in other towns) might find it worth risking a trip in order to stock up on hard-to-find resources. Oh sure, the whole thing might degenerate into open gang warfare, with a couple of high-level fellowships locked in a perpetual struggle for dominance, but if that’s your idea of fun… :man_with_turban:


I love PvP, I’m glad you are putting it in the game. I would like to see less items soulbound, but like your ideas so far. I like how WoW did it with the horde vs alliance. You could gank all day. I loved early Ultima online, you could kill someone and take all of their loot or get killed and lose all of your items. It was certainly a thrill. Sounds like you have a good idea of how the PvP will work. It all sounds fun. I hope to see some PvP battleground games in the future with good prizes.

I have to say I love pvp from both aspects but in a game with small community and limited player base, ganking could be a serious problem. I fully agree with the division style pvp. Your in it or your out of it. It may end up being my favorite place. Haha
Allowing players to be able to stay away from it all togather would be a good choice.

On the topic of Instanced PvP areas, I would love if it were in the form of a Physical arena players can go to to just watch other players fight, assuming the tech allows that and it’s feasible to do.


Funnily enough, if you look at the kickstarter page and go down the stretch goals, the last barely visible one is the “Grand Tournament” which sounds like what you’re talking about. I imagined it being something like, coliseum type fights and trials that other people can go watch if they want. If that is the case, then it seems that its on the road (way further down the development line though, like probably a good time after release).

The PVP here is sounding a lot like ArcheAge, which is very saddening.

Edit: I’ll say that I’m fine with it so long is you’re not forced to do this PVP content in order to gain items necessary for PVE or gear/weapons that will be better than the gear/weapons that can be obtained in PVE only content.

If you’re going to force your playerbase to PVP (ie. all your high level zones will be PVP possible) expect to lose a lot of potential players. From the sounds of it, the upgrades will not come from the PVP areas, which I’m hoping is truly how it goes.

I think it sounds like the perfect way to do PvP which is very…unsaddening.

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I think the only threat from PvP for PvE focused players is just having to travel through the Wild to get to the end game PvE content. As long as you’re part of a high level party you should be set to deal with any bandits you encounter though. Unless a bandit fellowship forms, in which case you may want to hire some bodyguards from another fellowship.

That’s the thing that became an issue in archeage.

  1. You can’t solo play (some people don’t want to have to rely on a guild or party), though this probably wouldn’t be as much of an issue here.

  2. Hiring bodyguards sounds like a cool mechanic, but it’s really not. How much do you pay the bodyguards? If you pay them less than the value of what you acquire, then what’s to stop them from turning on you and taking your stuff? If you pay them more than the value of what you acquire, then you’re actually losing profit by doing it in the first place. This will be a little different in Orbus, but that was the basics of the same concepts in ArcheAge.

If you need to hire them to get you across the level 20 zone, then you’re going to cut off a lot of non-experienced groups. Players are only going to want to hire bodyguards if know that the group will be able to complete the dungeon, hence in increase in the requirements to run the dungeons (high gearscore, need to already have the achiements, no noobs, etc). New players are going to have a TERRIBLE time getting such dungeons completed.

  1. It is an MMO and I feel like that implies the need to work with other people. You can play solo if that’s what you prefer, but there will be some content that you’re unable to tackle by yourself. If you do want to play solo I think you have to realize that and be ok with making that sacrifice.

  2. I definitely see where you’re coming from here, but if you’re headed into the area for PvE content then you’re probably bringing a pretty high level party with you and any single bandits lurking in the area will be discouraged from attacking you. Also, if you’re headed into the area for PvE content then you are probably fine given the soulbound system Riley mentioned above. The tricky part is if you’re headed into the area looking for resources. If that’s the case then the resources you’re trying to acquire are probably fairly valuable and you could afford to hire a bodyguard or two. If the cost of the bodyguards is higher than the price of the resources you’re after then you’re just better off buying the resources from someone’s market stall and saving yourself the time and trouble. If you don’t want to do either of these things then hopefully you can pull together a party from your fellowship and split the profits.

Keep in mind this is just speculation on my part, but I think it will work itself out. We’re probably just going to have to play through the suggested system for a bit and if there is an imbalance I hope that it can be identified and addressed quickly.