On PVP and the state of PVP in Elder Scrolls Online.

I make no secret of the fact that I am a bit of a scrub. I love the PVE content in Elder Scrolls Online, and have rarely set foot in Cyrodiil in a long time. In fact, I think before this week it has been at least 6 months since I set foot in PVP. But you simply can’t fail to notice the amount of posts about it on the official forums, Reddit and indeed on Twitter.

So, this week I decided to suck it up and take me and my Templar into Cyrodiil to fight the good fight for my alliance (Daggerfall Covenant for life!) and take a look at it for myself again.

There are, of course, numerous streamers of PVP for ESO, including Fengrush who I have never seen as I am not really a watcher of streamers etc so I am not overly aware of their opinions, however there’s a lot of opinion elsewhere, and I would like to add mine to the throng.

The first thing that you notice, or perhaps can’t fail to notice about PVP is the frame rates. Any time you dive into a big battle, the frame rate drops drastically. This can impede your enjoyment greatly, as side effects that can occur are disconnections, keep doors not working properly, long load screens, glitching into keeps, abilities not firing off properly …  This is indeed indicative that perhaps the servers need some work to counteract this, but it also shows another big problem with PVP: zergs.

The biggest objective in PVP seems to be to ball up in as large a group as possible and steamroll over everything that you can, all using one AOE to melt anyone unlucky enough to walk into their path. There are counters, of course, and occasionally it can be beaten, but for the most part whoever has the biggest zerg controls the map.

In my opinion, there needs to be much more incentive for smaller groups to PVP. I have had some big battles that were a lot of fun (one in particular that went on for ages and was still going on as I left for the night last night) but adding incentives rather than just making it so zerging wins every time would be a smart thing to do.

Another thing that I notice in PVP is the lack of meaningful content. For nearly 3 years now, it has just been a case of run around the map and capture keeps. They did, of course, add town capture into the game not so long ago, but this is essentially the same deal. PVE content is constantly being updated, why is PVP not being updated? They did add Imperial City to the mix, of course, however this is a lot of PVE content with PVP thrown into the mix.

When the game was first launched, PVP was advertised a lot as being a main part of the game, but with so little additions and virtually no changes to it, it all feels a little like an afterthought these days. Like, with it being an MMO they needed to add PVP in somewhere, and once it was added in, not to really do much with it.

Now, I am sure that most of the players in ESO are PVE players, and the PVP community (judging from the population caps in campaigns at least) is rather smaller. But why is this? Back in beta and at launch, you had to queue to get into all campaigns. Now you are lucky to see one entire full campaign. This might be because the majority of the PVP community has moved on because PVP has been so stagnant. But I think with changes and incentive, PVP’ers can be brought back to the game.

Proc sets have been another bone of contention for a little while now, why do the work when you can just wear a couple of proc sets and let them do all the work? However, I know a lot of stuff is getting an overhaul in Update 13, so I will not ramble on about proc sets.

Another thing that I have been reading about is an add on called “Miat’s PVP Alerts” the discussion about which can be found here. Given that there has been a lot of controversy about Cheat Engine being used in Elder Scrolls Online this year, I would have thought that ZOS would have smacked down an add on like this. But it seems they have not.

An add on that so fundamentally changes how a few things work is being allowed to be used, and I find that a strange one given the past bans etc. Maybe they will reverse this decision, maybe they will not. Who can say? To me, it is just allowing the PVP in game to go further down in quality, giving people a distinct advantage. Maybe I am wrong on this?

Basically, what I think I am trying to say in a very roundabout manner is ZOS please give us a reason to love PVP. Shake things up, add things, keep PVP as fresh as you keep the PVE content. Without any movement, the remaining PVP crowd will go elsewhere.

Same goes for Imperial City. The district capture thing was a good start, but I have seen one alliance owning control of all districts for a long time now, purely because nobody really goes there anymore.

Imperial City looks bleakly beautiful, but … There’s nothing really to do there. The quests aren’t that long. Maybe add something AFTER the Planemeld has been stopped rather than just daily district quests? That storyline is over, so what could be next for the Imperial City after all that happened? The alliances would likely continue to fight over it, so add some story to it, phase to a different looking Imperial City after you have done all the quests, no anchor, maybe helping rebuild stuff whilst alliances still fight for the Ruby Throne?

There’s a huge map and a large map that seem vastly empty in places. Use your terrain that you have. Add things for smaller groups too. Add new siege engines. Give better Rewards for the Worthy. Give players an incentive to go and fight for their alliance in Cyrodiil, and please don’t let PVP just falter and die. There could be a lot of fun that could be had in Cyrodiil. Let’s make that happen.



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