PvMP: The Disconnected World
Anyone who frequents the LOTRO forums on a regular basis will be aware that over the past week or two there have been an increasing number of calls for some sort of expansion to PvMP. Now when I say ‘expansion’I don’t mean a game expansion in the mould of Rise of Isengard or Mines of Moria, rather I am talking about expanding the scope of the current PvMP system. I talked about this a bit in a previous post: Open World PvMP?
I’m not going to talk about open world PvMP specifically here, instead I’m going to take a look at how PvMP fits into the wider game and what, if anything, is wrong with the current implementation.
The State of Play
Most readers of this blog will probably be wargs (hat the odd non-warg reads this is likely too) an so will be familiar with how PvMP operates, but for those unfamiliar with PvMP I’ll set out how the system works at a basic level.
The system itself is actually incredibly simple. PvMP in LOTRO is setup to operate completely separate to the rest of the game. The single PvMP zone in the game 9the Ettenmoors) is completely cut off from the rest of the game world;there is no physical way of getting from the Ettenmoors to any other zone, whether through official means or otherwise.
There is very little you can do in PvMP that has any meaningful effect on the rest of the game. Freeps can gain armour sets, jewellery and so on that can be used in the PVE game, but frankly none of that is significantly beyond what you can attain in the PVE game. There are no material rewards for creeps at all that can be used in the PVE game. Both freeps and creeps can earn titles that can’t be earned in the PVE game, but of course titles are cosmetic appellations with no bearing on gameplay. The only thing that I can think of that does have a meaningful impact are destiny points. Destiny points can be obtained in the PVE game to be fair, but the most efficient means is through PvMP, where huge quantities can be amassed in a short space of time.
The ranks you achieve in PvMP have absolutely no bearing on the PVE game. They mean nothing outside of the Ettenmoors. Even within the Ettenmoors ranks don’t have much meaning for freeps, simply allowing them to wear a few more pieces of armour or access to a new horse.
In short nothing you do in PvMP will have any effect on your PVE experience. Anything you can gain through PvMP activity can be matched or exceeded through PVE activity.
I believe that this state of affairs leads to a sense of disconnect amongst those taking part in PvMP. The Ettenmoors,and PvMP in general, feels cut-off from the rest of LOTRO to the extent that it is almost like its own self-contained game within a game.
This feeling of separateness is especially true for creeps. At least freeps can use the rewards they obtain in PvMP when they take part in PVE content. At least they can show off their titles in the wider game. Not so for creeps. Creeps are perpetually stuck in the Ettenmoors, and no matter how much you invest in your creep character it will remain forever in the Ettenmoors,your gameplay and achievements confined to that single map and only those players who choose to enter.
What all of this leads to is PvMP feeling like it isn’t really part of LOTRO. There is little, if anything, to make PvMPers feel they are part of the wider game and that what they are doing in the Ettenmoors is part of the wider War of the Ring. You could literally take PvMP in LOTRO out of the game and re-package it with a different name and it would have no adverse effect because that it pretty much how it is operating at the moment.