Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is Abyss Point loss bad for Aion's PvP?

Abyss Points are Aion's PvP currency. They are gained through PvP and PvE activities within the Abyss Zone. They are used to purchase equipment and gain rankings. For a list of rankings and a great Abyss overview, check this out. When you die to a player or Baldur NPC, you will lose Abyss Points. The amount depends on your rank.

On the plus side, point loss gives PvP some meaning. Not only do you gain points, you basically take them from your enemy. Players will be a bit more careful about PvP and not just throw themselves into the meat grinder.

There is also a downside that comes with this point loss system. The higher rank players get, the less they will engage in PvP. Here is an interesting post to illustrate the point. As you work through the ranks, the amount of Abyss Points you lose when killed increases. For example, if you are a 3 Star Officer and die, you lose 2,184 points. If you kill a Grade 8 Soldier, you gain 168 points.

The risk/reward ratio gets more imbalanced the higher your rank. Lord of the Rings Online had a similar system in their PvMP using stars and battle rating. Many players despised the system because it encouraged players not to fight most of the time. It was only worth fighting when you were sure you would win. The LoTRO stars were totally cosmetic and it had a noticeable effect. Turbine eventually removed/hid the stars.

Contributing to the problem is the amount of PvE alternatives in the zone. The player in the post mentions he just does PvE quests to gain his Abyss Points. Why wouldn't he? It is less risk and more reward.

Overall, I think some risk is good in a PvP game. I do wonder if Aion's system is the right way to go about it, as it encourages PvE in the higher rankings. It will be interesting to see how the mass market NA audience does with the point loss system.


I like such systems were you can win and lose something. It gives some sort of soft cap for the points as it will be difficult to farm them indefinitely.

But I am not the mass.. I guess many people would be to scared to play a char that has high points in any rating which that char might lose. I guess such a systems leads to many forum posts and outcries how cruel the game is and why this means that the game is an epic fail ;)

Thing is, how are you going to get to a high enough rank where you actually care about losing points if you don't engage in PvP?

Are you going to PvE it? Go for it... way less rewarding, mind-numbingly boring, and easier for me to gank you. :p

Are you going to zerg it? Go for it... that will just encourage enemy zergs, which means you'll still die anyway. Many people die in zerg vs. zerg battles.

Are you going to run with guild groups? Go for it... that's my kind of PvP! :)

Are you going to use your head and play it smart? Go for it... again, that's my kind of PvP!

Are you going to just quit the Abyss and parade around the city with your high rank? Go for it... that's sounds boring as frack.

From my understanding, you also have to spend your AP to buy certain skills/items. As you said, AP is the currency of RvR in Aion. Buying that uber sword is going to affect your PvP ranking just as much as dying, isn't it?

There will be lots of PvP in the entry level rankings, as there is little to lose. There is a point when you end up risking a lot more then you'll gain.

You know most people will do boring stuff to get their loot. Whether that means PvE or Keep trading.

Spending your AP on gear is different than losing it in a fight.

I know some players will fight regardless of the AP risk. I also thought most people would hate keep trading... and I was wrong.

This is easy to predict, given the trend of the last couple years - whatever offers the path of least resistance. If that's PvE, or PvP, then that's what will happen, and Aion's developers better keep an eye on it, lest they encounter no PvP at all in their supposed PvP zone.

People that play on the asian Aion servers claim the latest changes, eg. fortress instances etc. provide constant PvP inside the Abyss and its going into the right direction. Only time will tell how the PvP in Aion will settle down.

Isn't the entire Abyss open-PvP though? I totally understand where you're coming from, especially when we can cite WAR as a recent example, however, participating in Abyss PvE might be a little different.

My hope is that there will be enough people with my mentality that it will balance things out. My mission in Aion will be to seek out people who are PvE-grinding and gank the heck out of them.

I don't see ganking as a bad thing in this game since it is obviously intended by the game's design.

Well now I am even more looking forward to Aion. I love a risk/reward in pvP - its the only thing that gets your heart pumping. Its why WAR RvR feels repetetive after a couple hours - death means absolutely nothing, and the more you die, the more the other side is penalized, not you.

I didn't at all understand 'abyss points' before now, but they truly will add an awesome element to RvR.

"I don't see ganking as a bad thing in this game since it is obviously intended by the game's design."

So true. To deny the enemy AP (earned cheesily) with which he can buy better weapons/armor to use against your allys? Oh hells yes!

The reprecusions for the things you listed here are some of the big reasons why I won't be playing Aion, and what I realized quickly, that it's not the game for me.

People who get behind the type of gameplay that has been made available in games like Aion, confuse the "path of least resistance" to mean "quickest most fun path". PvE grinding is the absolute minimum of resistance you can find. The mobs always behave the same, they always function in a preset manner, and you know that you will always be able to kill them if you preform to some pre-set routine.

Sure, there will be a lot of PvP all over the place at first, but my prediction, is that it will die down in a couple months. People will only travel in large packs if they want to do PvP to help ensure safety, and when not, they'll farm PvE to get points for the best "fat lewts". If someone gets near them, they will do their best to disable the attacker and run away, saving their own points.

Eh, I just cannot see this game living up to the expectations the masses hold for it.

Its a compromise between EvE - lose it all PvP - and Wow/WAR/GW - nothing to lose so I'll just keep throwing my carcass over the cliff PvP. That people will be pvEing to get PvP rewards just gives another fun hunting aspect to the PvP, especially when population is low at odd times of the day. I just don't see a big downside to this. Some risk/some reward, which is better then polar opposites of each.

AFAICS the ranking system is simply a gear threadmill. The highest ranked players won't be the best, the highest ranked players will be either be grinders who enjoy the e-peen status symbol or players who are earning points for the gear. The best players will mostly go through this threadmill (or give up in disgust) but they won't stay at the top ranks (you can't afford to fight there, not even people from your own level because you will just get ganked ... and if you aren't fighting you aren't the best).

I've been reading just about every review of Aion's PvPvE system and rankings that I can find. You easily have the best expressed, least biased, and most enlightening commented post I've found yet. Kudos for that!

The more you think about it, the more flawless this ranking system feels, at least initially. You will lose AP via player/npc deaths and through gear purchasing. You gain it through killing. Past the soldier ranks, the dynamic of rank changing should be rather interesting, at least at first. Since that last 9 ranks are based on competitive gameplay, eventually the points are going to stack up. I.e. once everyone has bought what they want and the higher ranks go into self-defense mode, it might become very difficult to even get into the first officer rank b/c you'll have sooo many with enough points for it. You can eventually see how the rank 1 officers will have enough points technically for the rank 9 spot, but the ranks above them have correspondingly MORE points.

I completely agree it will inspire smarter pvp and far more mindless zergs, but for how long? It seems that every game that's tried systems like this in the west have either failed or altered their systems (WoW, LotRO).

I do like the PvPvE though. Can you say Darkness Falls from DAoC on steroids? I played DAoC forever, tried WoW pvp and was beside myself with boredom, got to t4 in WAR, quit, considered going back, but saw too many war'ites preparing to leave for Aion that I gave up going back. It seems like this system will be THE system for those who enjoy it, but it might turn out to have serious flaws as more and more players hit 50 and spend time in the Abyss.

Ive been playing aion now for the last couple weeks, the lvling is slower then games such as wow simply because of the lack of quests. The grind however is much less horrid. Leveling is at least somewhat fun, even tho it is a grind. I havn't been in the pvp yet (lvl 21 now) but so far from what ive been hearing its hit or miss with people

Some people are loving it, and enjoying its dynamic, others hate it and say class's like Cleric are impossible to kill 1v1. I guess ill just have to see for my self once im high enough. This pvp system is very similar to the one used in wow pre bc, it didnt work then and i believe it will be changed to a certain degree once a few months have gone by, only time will tell.

The game is bad, i played alot, SM till lvl 50 then quitted due to stupid treatment the players receives (like heart not proccing is most important, but also all is grinding, lame pvp, only one bg 1-2 times/day max, no raid instance, pvp system encourages not fighting, etc). Not to mention it is bot-friendly and goldsellers issues, etc. Bottom line content is lame. Only one advice i have: not worth spending time on it. Wouldnt waste my time if it would of been free 2 play either.

Well when you try to gear yourself to even have a smitter of a chance in pvp, you can't really do it by pvping others, cause you get smashed all the time. So you need to go grind the abyss guards or abyss quests. This take a long time but at least you can get some blue abyss gear to compete with others in pvp. Gold gear is 3 times as costly for the meager stats improvement over blue gear. But it does have 1 more manastone slot. All in all, the higher points you got, the less you pvp, which is really a stupid system. There is almost no pvp anymore in the abyss. All of it is in rifting with big gangs to kill lower level peeps that give almost no ap.

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