I made a thread a couple months ago about the state of VG's pvp in beta and several people asked me to follow up with another look at the pvp after release. Again, this will be long like the last thread and I'll try to be as unbiased and thorough as possible. HOWEVER, my view on VG pvp has changed. I'm going to say this outright, I dislike how they have handled pvp post release. To sum it up in a couple sentences, they have done nothing to address any issue from balance or bug that has come up in pvp. There has been no dialog by the devs whatsoever about what is planned in the far or near future since release. The same potential I talked about a while back is there but nothing has been done to achieve it.
This is mostly about the game in the higher levels and post release from a pvp perspective. If you want info on the basics, the lower level pvp(pre 40), and on how it was looking pre-release here is a link to the other thread: [url]http://www.fohguild.org/forums/mmorpg-general-discussion/26712-those-wanting-info-vg-pvp.html/url
Here is my stance on PvP as a whole. I believe CC should be highly moderated and controlled so it doesn't ever become something that completely takes a player out of a fight, but is more of something you should plan around instead of being a victim of. It is a dual edged sword that has the potential to add alot of depth to the pvp and to completely ruin it if left unchecked. I also believe that DPS should never come to a point where to fight is so fast you have no chance at a reaction in an equally sized fight. With that out of the way, I hope this post helps anyone who hasn't experienced the VG end-game pvp get a taste of what to expect.
Table of Contents
How does VG PvP play out
The pvp experience you have in VG depends on what class you are, the size of the fight, and the amount of bugs you are willing to take advantage of. There are several abilities that have questionable results like the Defender of Light pet that has no recast on its attack(the faster u click the more dmg you do weeee), the Bard -healing song stacking up to 80%, and the Necromancer pet hitting for full dmg in pvp. Here is a typical fight at level 50 for your pleasure:
You and your group are XPing in the zone when one person does a /who and sees another group that just zoned in that is KoS. Immediately you need to get see invis on everyone or you are FUBARed. Why? Well castable invis has no see checks and multiple classes have it or a group buffable version (more classes have invis than see invis). Even worse is that bard song spams invis on your group as you are fighting. It pretty much borks everything as the party you are fighting against goes in and out of sight every several seconds. Let's say you have a psi/sorc that has see invis for the sake of even having a decent fight(both rare classes at higher levels). Your group now goes searching for the other group. However, with no track and zones the size of Arkansas, you really have a good chance of spending 30 min just roaming around before finding them. UNLESS, you or them uses ISXVG and the radar that comes with it. You get lucky though and find them. Their Necromancer immediately goes on your healer and tears him as new asshole by hitting for half his health every second, with just his pet. Your sorceror is smart and burns down the necromancer in about 3 seconds, not before the necro kills your healer and takes half of your tanks life away. You are about to attack but are immediately rooted and are playing one of the many classes that have no serious ranged attack or root break. The root itself lasts 40 seconds and technically you contribute nothing to the fight. Alas, most of your group was based on melee dps and you don't possess a necromancer or bard. Your group is burnt down one by one in a matter of moments but another one of your groups happens to be nearby and they have a bard! Your root breaks and you begin to engage them when all the sudden they dissapear. One of their mages evacced their group. By the time you evac, their group has already dissapeared into the gigantic zone. Now this isn't like all fights but it embodies several of the common issues in the pvp system.
Not all fights nor as annoying as the one I described(but alot are , about 60%+). Expect something in the range of 15 seconds for a 6 v 6 before the fight is decided. Back in beta I believed that the survivability was scaled decently to DPS but it is not anymore once you reach 40+. On top of that is the issue of snares/roots with melee. For multiple classes there is simply no way to counter any kind of immobolizing effect. No snare/root breaks are in the game nor are there any immunities to these abilities after multiple uses. The feel I get of the fights is something like I had in WOW, but on speed. Very few abilities used, devastating CC, and DPS that is just ridiculous when compared to the HP and mitigation players have. As for healing, the amount of classes that possess mez is astounding, off the top of my head 7 of the 15 classes have a mez that is on less than a 1 min cooldown(and you as a healer are the prime target). Also the DPS is just so great and highly burst in nature that you will have an extremely hard time healing people in group settings.
Lag is also a huge issue with how the pvp plays out. There is a known issue with buffs actually causing lag in the pvp based on how many you have. Ontop of that, pets will cause a huge lagspike based on your buffs whenever you are targeted by one. The sight distance in pvp is very small, almost at just max casting range, but you are able to target players beyond sight which is helpful at times.
You can pretty much put tell exactly how a class is balanced by putting them in one of three boxes: ranged dmg base, burst dmg, and ranged CC. If you are in one box you are decent. If you are in two boxes you are good. If you are in three boxes you are going to be very nasty. If you are in no boxes you are probably a Disciple 8(. Mage classes do extremely well in this fast paced pvp. There is really very little survivablity difference between the archetypes unless you are a tank/cleric. I'd say the difference in pure mitigation between an offensive melee vs mage is roughly 10-15% different. Healers were pretty close to tanks but their mitigation was nerfed several patches ago and are now on par with the offensive fights or even less than them. The 4 archetypes and the 4 (3 for tanks) classes under them all have good flavor and are noticealy different in play styles. You really do have a huge amount of abilities to pool from but with several issues, like CC and high dps, you just don't have a chance to use them. For instance, Disciples use alot of endurance based heals which require you to be in melee range. However, with all the CC being used it becomes near impossible to stay in melee range of anyone long enough to use these class defining abilities.
I want to stress how amazing some of the classes are. This game still has potential when it comes to the pvp and, honestly, with very few changes could become extremely fun. The classes all possess great utility abilities and spells that are unique and fun. Dread Knights have an AoE life drain, Dota-esque behind the char teleport, and an invis/runspeed self buff. Bards are also really amazing with the ability to craft songs to their exact specs for pvp to fit the situation without tedious song queuing or spamming.
What has happened since the release
As I said earlier, there has been no communication about what changes to be expected or what is even on the horizon for pvp. I hate making a statement this big but they really have done absolutely nothing about the pvp. This is not saying they haven't been working on it but from a players perspective there has been: no communication, no changes, and no fixes for the bugs. Maybe they have something behind the scenes, ready for the next patch, but I doubt it. Before in beta there was talks of an item loot server, fixes for the CC issues, and many other interesting tidbits like shadow bane style sieging and benefits for infamy(read honor).
It is not like they have ignored the community and not responded to issues. There are many changes to diplomacy being put in every patch and constant posts by devs about the issues with it. The same goes for crafting which with diplomacy are both sub-parts of the game. I would think that the highest population server, the pvp one, would have more attention for its primary purpose. For all the hype they had right before release about pvp, there has only been hot air to follow it up.
My personal opinion and ending thoughts
Well, at the moment there is not much pvp going on or competition for any spawns on the pvp servers because people are more focused on leveling or are not high enough level to see what it becomes. As players get higher levels and gain access to more CC and broken abilities there is going to be some seriously pissed off people when raids are added in. When pvp actually becomes the difference between getting a boss or not, people are going to be very depressed as a necromancer pet kills half their raid, they get perma CCed by a bug, lagged up by a pet, or instantly killed by just one person. Again though, the potential for very fun(balanced=fun in my book) pvp if they simply work on it a bit. What I am seeing by all this is an absolute lack of care for the pvp at all at this point. I know there are other issues in the game but personally I believe pvp is as or important than diplomacy and maybe crafting even. PvP is alot slower at the lower levels and classes don't have access to the same kind of gear and abilities people 45+ do. It is a world of difference in the CC/speed of the fights to the point where it isn't even a good comparison to try to say post 40ish pvp is even an extension of what was before in the lower levels.
I sincerely hope these problems are addressed, even in just a post, by the devs. For those looking at trying VG for pvp alone I would be very wary at this point. Before I would have said dive right in with all the changes being made to it but at this point the system is very broken. The potential is there but I believe that Sigil is overworked and that pvp is a mere afterthought as they work their asses off to put in some raiding content. However, when that raiding content comes out with no pvp balancing changes, it will also break the raid content. -Nerion
Btw, I'm playing a 50 Disciple by the name of Nerion on the Tharridon server if anyone has questions.