For the past few days there has been a storm brewing on the Rift forums: the overlap between PvE and PvP on PvE servers. Some players felt that the game was designed to allow and even encourage PvP griefing on PvE servers, and wanted NPCs to be unattackable to the opposing faction. Other players felt the servers were fine as-is, and wanted to keep the option of world PvP on PvE servers.
Well folks, Trion heard the pleas of both sides, and tonight Zann released the details of changes made to Beta 6 to address these concerns:
One of the things that got a lot of testing during the most recent beta was the amount of PvP and PvE overlap that people would be experiencing on both PvP and PvE servers. If you played through Scarlet Gorge, you know that’s a great place to see how social dynamics play out.
We like the idea of PvE people being able to progress as they expect, and we also like the idea of PvP objectives for those who choose to take part.
Fortunately, both of those activities have a place in Rift.
For PvE content: We’ll be implementing some changes to PvE quest areas to lower the likelihood of griefing via blocking the opposing side’s PvE progression.
• Wardstones in Quest Camps aren’t supposed to be attackable targets, or provide rewards for defeating them. The rewards on those were a bug that’s been addressed. Those are part of the PvE land control game of rifts and invasions.
• Guard AI behavior was a little less smart than it should have been. We’re improving it such that guards behave much more like an NPC bearing that name would be expected to.
• Guards in PvE areas will prove to be considerably more challenging vs. player targets. They still provide a similar challenge to PvE invasions, but now will be much harder in PvP. We’ll be tuning this over time. Expect to see some first balance out during the next beta.
• The Porticulum Masters in particular have enlisted the help of the Portal Defense Force. When they’re attacked in PvP, you can expect them to put out a call for help over the planar Porticulum network.
For PvP gameplay:
• Expect additional PvP takeover areas across Telara. There are differently-themed, cool-looking wardstones clearly displayed as PvP targets, down to the faction inscriptions on the side. You can see examples of these PvP objectives in Scarlet Gorge.
• To help out with the spawn camping that was occurring in the shared world, Peace of the Grave (the buff granted when choosing to respawn in a graveyard) will now protect you from PvP attacks for 30 seconds, or until you take your first offensive action.
We do enjoy being able to provide gameplay for people who are fans of both types of activities.
At the places where those interests cross over into griefing in one direction or the other, please do expect us to continue tuning to ensure that the griefing potential is kept to a minimum.
– The RIFT Development Team
These changes look like they’ll go a long way in appeasing both sides. I particularly like that Porticulum Masters will be able to call for back-up, and that they’re also adding additional PvP-only takeover points across Telara. They’re adding a little something extra for both PvE and PvP, while at the same time lowering the chances that the two styles of play will overlap or interfere with each other.
More importantly though, this is a perfect example of a game company listening to the feedback of their customers and developing solutions that aren’t heavy-handed, unbalanced, or contrary to the overall game design. This is exactly what players have come to expect from Trion, and as long as they continue addressing issues in this way, they’ll continue to grow a very loyal customer base.