by Azaroth | December 19th, 2010
So PvE is an interesting topic of discussion for IPY 2. I suppose like most things it’s of the utmost importance to explain the direction we intend to take this aspect of the server in.
First of all, PvE content will be released as content patches on the fly. It would be largely inaccessible for the first while anyway, but this will allow us both more time and more opportunity to spark ongoing interest.
Also, let’s speak a moment about why I’m specifically calling this PvE (Player versus Environment) and not the clearer, more recent PvM (Player versus Monster).
Mostly, this is because we’re not just doing PvM. Our dungeons, portals, and spiffified overworld areas are and will be both interesting creature encounters, but also encounters with puzzles, mazes, quests, achievements, interactive environments.
When one waxes nostalgic about oldschool UO, they inevitably mention how there were no “stupid items” and there was no real PvE endgame. Typically, nostalgia creates a cloud of illusion that has us remembering everything as positive, but this isn’t. UO shards die, and oldschool UO would die a terrible death in 2011 without any sort of endgame. People get bored of UO not because it’s a bad game, but often because there ISN’T an endgame. Players often get bored without thinking too much about why. They just are, and they leave (some, after looking for a reason and screaming at developers for a while).
We’ve spoken on this blog so many times about how oldschool UO in the present day turns into Macro -> PvP -> Tower -> Quit. If that’s all the game is going to have, if there’s going to be nothing more to it, then just open a tournament server with instant skills and free items. It’ll speed up the process and save everyone a lot of time.
But no, if your goal is to have a long lasting, meaningful, sustainable UO shard… you have to have more. A lot more. And you have to have a PvE endgame.
The question is how this endgame is implemented.
It’s exceptionally hard to add PvE/PvM endgames without rewarding people with shiny items. Most people just aren’t going to do that raid for the heck of it. It might look cool presented on the official website before the content patch, but the amount of sustained interest without a tangible reward for beating the content will be almost nil. This is basic, but needs to actually be explained to large parts of an oldschool UO crowd. Especially those that refuse to believe that classic UO has or had any faults whatsoever.
The real question then becomes how you do those rewards, what your goals for them and for your endgame are, and how you want it all to turn out.
IPY’s current high end reward table consists of 44 (22 mage, 22 warrior) PvE platemail sets. Being that there are no special ore colours in game (just like IPY), the fact that these sets are hued exactly as the oldest of the oldschool 1997 hued plate sets raises their value based on that alone.
There does need to be more than that, however. These plate sets provide specific bonuses against monsters and monster types, as well as being ‘tuned’ to certain dungeons, providing bonuses within.
For example, our Light Gold Hythloth (a level 1 set, or the most “common” – though none are common) plate has the following set bonuses:
+Full meditation (AR equivalent of exceptional leather)
+10% magic damage to demons/gargoyles
+20% Lightning damage to demons/gargoyles
+1% Lightning proc on weapon hit against demons/gargoyles
+10% weapon damage to demons/gargoyles
-10% magic damage taken from demons/gargoyles
55 ar against demons/gargoyles
Here’s the first level of four types (Gold, Rose, Bronze, Grey). Look to a future patch for the introduction of our Black sets, and how to get them.
However, they provide absolutely no general bonus that can be used against players.
Let me say that again.
Our goal is to provide PvE rewards. Our goal is to add a PvE endgame to UO. Our goal is also to NOT mess with how the rest of the game works, or competitive PvP balance in any way.
There are no neons, no whacky new armors, no crazy attributes that you need to stack up and raid for to be competitive.
The entire goal here is to add without subtracting. That’s why we think we’re doing such a good job. You have to add – it’s not 1997. But you can’t mess with success. We’re not overturning anything that was great about classic UO. You’re just getting more good stuff. Things that will get people out in the world, playing again. Things that will attract a wide variety of player types. Things that will keep people interested longer. Things that will help us craft a sustainable, but squarely classic at heart, version of classic UO.
So what will we have for you PvErs?
- PvE-Powered Sets
- World Bosses
- Rare Spawns
- 5th Level Dungeons
Portals, we’ve already discussed of course. However, you can expect an ongoing series of screenshots from our portals to be posted on Twitter and Facebook. If you haven’t read about them, scroll down on this blog and find the 10 in 10 feature.
World Bosses and Rare Spawns are self explanatory. Simple but fun for the whole family. Rare spawns will be found periodically, with stronger than average monsters offering better than average loot (and sometimes rares).
World Bosses will be parts of storylines, offering exceptionally high end loot to those brave enough to take on the immensely powerful (see: raid) creatures. These might be good places to start looking for that PvE platemail.
Our added dungeon levels are really fun.
Each of the classic dungeons (Destard, Deceit, Hythloth, and so on) will have an extra level added below the normal ones. These are entirely new areas and unlockable only with high Virtue scores. You’ll also need to max out your achievements in the dungeon you’re attempting to adventure further into.
Can we give detailed information about spawns, bosses, dungeons, raids? No! Of course not, because that’d ruin half of the fun.
You’ll just have to wait.
Watch for tweets and facebook updates with more screenshots and videos of PvE content.
Until next week. Sorry about the delay!