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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pirate101 PvP: Tipping the Scales


Introduction // If you didn't know, the Pirate101 Test Realm recently opened. In my last post, I gave a brief description of how it works currently. Obviously, things are still being tested, but Pirate101's PvP and classes are very different than Wizard101's PvP and schools. Has KingsIsle bitten off more than they can chew?

Obviously, most people say no. However, there's a big difference between what KingsIsle sees as a fix and what actually is a fix. To this day in Wizard101, problems exist that have not been corrected because they do not appear to be problems to KingsIsle. Of course, that's to be expected. KingsIsle does an exceptional job listening to players, and they can't please everyone.

My recommendation to KingsIsle is to be careful - while players offer a lot of good suggestions, there are a number of angry attacks that have no real point or meaning. Some threads even claim to be doing research, when, in fact, they're posting irrelevant details meant only to prove their opinions.

PvP's Impact // When Pirate101 first came out, my wish was for no PvP. For one thing, it tips the game in favor of PvPers, as gear, drops and drop rates, pets, weapons, future gardening/pet update rewards, etc., all have to be evaluated and made to work with PvP. Oftentimes, PvE loses out on useful things due to PvP. In Wizard101, for example, players lost Simplify and Elucidate (reduced a spell's pip cost by 1 and 2) due to PvP.


We've also seen gear altered specifically not to be overpowered in PvP. My hopes is that PvP does not dictate changes in Pirate101 as it does in Wizard101. That being said, in order to get PvP to work, I am fearful of some major reform.

Balancing It Out // Sorry, players, but not all pirates are created equal. In fact, only every one in five will be similar. That's right, I'm talking about classes. Pirate101 does a beautiful things - instead of introducing every different school or class with something very similar, and diversifying as you level, they give you a completely unique start. Furthermore, they continue to make pirates more powerful in their own ways, and, while training-point-type credits can be used to buy abilities and bonuses from other schools, they only go so far, and you're limited to certain abilities and bonuses.

Some classes are built for power, while others are not. While each class may have their specialty, some are most certainly better than others. Take Witchdoctors, for example. With a mass amount of teleportation and damage and creature summoning spells, they can move around the board as they please, avoiding attacks and leaving companions and summoned minions to do the work.


Put one of those guys up against a Buccaneer - good damage and awesome armor up close and personal, but their talents are mainly for defense - and that doesn't include energy attacks such as spells and gun blasts. With limited maneuverability, they'll be stuck fighting against companions as well as powerful minions. While they'll certainly be able to hold off for awhile, they'll be outnumbered and out-powered, pretty plain and simple.

So what do you do, then? Cut Witchdoctors' ability count in half? Disallow the use of minion spells?

Wait a Minute! // That's what I was saying the first time I activated one versus one with friend and blogger Destiny Soultamer in my house. You see, we weren't taken anywhere fancy at all, we just fought right by the post where we had opted to play PvP.

Now most of you are thinking that that can't be any big deal. However, the area is significantly smaller than that of the Skull Island shacks. Furthermore, with no obstacles, and an enclosed space, my Musketeer powers were no match for those of her Swashbuckler. Of course, her much higher level would have tipped things in her favor to begin with, but this didn't exactly help.

Before they can introduce ranked PvP matches at all, KingsIsle needs to alter arenas, and add options for obstacles and various restrictions to be put in place. An obstacle-filled room would be a Musketeer and Witchdoctor's best friends. Teleportation, traps, and barriers, here I come!


The "Easy" Button // One way to avoid most of these problem completely is not to introduce ranked PvP matches. The game is meant for fun, not hard-core PvP addicts who leave the arena once or twice a year for a new world, and to post complaint threads about the balance of new items and spells.

Why not avoid the hassle of re-balancing everything KingsIsle introduces into the game? Why not emphasize the fact that the game is a kids game and meant for fun? Why not eliminate the need to reevaluate everything they've introduced so far? Why not avoid problems like the ones existing in Wizard101 that are eating their time that could be spent on new content? Why not say no to complaint threads? Why not prevent angering PvE players who don't want PvP dictating the game? And all for a feature that really creates more problems than fun, anyway, which seems to be its only purpose.

And With That... // Good luck to KingsIsle in sorting all of this out. While I hope you (KingsIsle) will consider avoiding ranked PvP, if you do decide to implement it, spend some good time evaluating things you currently have available first... and be prepared for a slower release process for all of your future updates!

To my readers - what do you all think? Thanks for reading, and see you in the Spiral!

2 comments:

  1. If this is a kids game why do they make us go through Gortez 25 times to hear "You know what you are? You're an organ grinder sent by circus clowns to make me do a dance and I refuse" @.@ Mommy whats an organ grinder?

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