In his preview of Dust 514, Stabs describes his painful initial forays into CCP’s new FPS for the Playstation 3. He suggests that his inexperience with recent shooters and lack of muscle memory is letting him down in the face of fierce competition.
Tobold concurs in his analysis, suggesting that traditional fans of EvE will struggle to compete with hardened FPS veterans in this way.
Finally Chris shares his own experiences with the game, where the impact of gear was substantial: “On at least two occasions I emptied an entire clip into an enemy only to drop their health by 50% and be killed within several return shots.”
My own view is that none of the above will condemn the game to an early death. In fact, what has been described in the examples are standards facets of a modern PvP game, be it a console FPS, a MOBA or a battleground scenario in an MMO.
Besides some very basic games on the Amiga 500, I got my first taste of real PvPing with the shareware version of Doom. We were lucky enough to have several PCs at home and linked them together via a serial cable in order to deathmatch into the wee hours of the morning.
Through months of dodging each others’ rockets, my brother and I became evenly matched. Conversely, friends that we invited over to play sporadically found themselves completely decimated in 1v1.
Many moons later, when healing for a ranked PvP guild in the first season of WoW’s Cataclysm expansion, we had a rule that no one with less than 2300 resilience could apply. This PvP stat invented by Blizzard makes you simultaneously deal more damage/healing and take less damage. It was an accepted fact in the community that anyone with less than 2300 resilience was effectively cannon fodder.
So what is the connection is between the easy targets for the Doom brothers, the low resilience lambs being lead to the slaughter in WoW and fresh-faced Dust initiates being blown to smithereens?
They are all willing participants in the great PvP pyramid scheme.
In all 3 cases, you have PvP matches where an imbalance of skill or items enable one side to have an advantage over another.
However this is accepted by the community because everyone knows that one day you will have invested enough time to go on to destroy newbies – either by your superior knowledge of level design, your improved hand/eye coordination in dodging rockets, your time spent with the best players enabling you to emulate their strategies or just from having sufficient honor points farmed to buy new gear and move up a level in the pyramid.
Of course, it takes time to change from a sheep to a wolf, which is where CCP offer a shortcut in the form of RMT.
Everyone loves a shortcut.