PvMP: The Connected World
In the last part I discussed how PvMP feels like a separate game from the main PVE experience in LOTRO. I talked about how this leads to a feeling of disconnect amongst PvMPers and that ultimately the PvMP experience feels somewhat hollow because of this. In short, one’s actions and accomplishments in PvMP simply don’t matter.
What can be done to remedy this? How can the disconnected be connected? How can meaning be brought to the meaningless?
The Connected World
The first step, in my opinion, is to connect the PvMP experience in LOTRO with the wider PVE game in a more meaningful way. LOTRO is primarily a PVE game so it isn’t realistic to expect PvMP to become a dominant aspect in the game, but it doesn’t have to be, it just has to feel like it is actually part of the game.
One of the ways this could be done is to integrate PvMP with some of the technology we’ve seen appear over the years. For example, trait lines for creeps; PvMP skirmishes; using the instance finder for PvMP skirmishes; an expanded cosmetics system for creeps; access to shared storage for creeps, and so on.
The effect of such changes would be to make the PvMP experience feel as if it is actually keeping pace with the rest of the game. All too often PvMPers see new technology and systems appearing in the PVE game, but not in the PvMP game. We watch as these advancements sail past us and this only increases the feeling that PvMP isn’t just marginalised, but is a separate entity to the game we call LOTRO.
If connecting PvMP to the rest of the game is the first step the second must surely be making sure there is something interesting going on for PvMPers. This is the exact same process as goes on in the rest of the game: adding new content!
Just because we PvMP doesn’t mean to say we don’t want new and exciting content. There are a few general points to make on this score:
- New PvMP maps should be added on a regular basis e.g. at least twice a year.
- New, and exciting PVE quests should be added to PvMP zones on a regular basis (look if there has to be PVE quests in PvMP zones they should at least be good quests). Creep and freep PvMP class quests could be added, for example.
- Creep classes should be treated as full blown player classes with the same frequent updates and care and attention that freep classes receive (creep players invest just as much gameplay in their creeps as many freeps do). Full blown dev diaries should be released for each creep class just as they are for freep classes.
The Pay Off
It is often said that LOTRO is primarily a PVE game. That is true, it is. But then how can it be anything else when PvMP has never been given much scope beyond a side game? I’m not calling for LOTRO to be transformed into a PvMP game, but by placing a bit more importance on and expanding PvMP I genuinely feel that it could become a significant part of the game that could attract new players in its own right.
The premise of PvMP is great and there are some superb classes and concepts already in the game. If we could just see these expanded upon and fleshed out into a more meaningful experience LOTRO could be a game that could attract serious PvP players. That’s a win win situation; Turbine gains paying customers whilst the PvMP community gains more action and the game as a whole benefits from new players.