I’ve been toying with the idea of a PvP MMO game that doesn’t involve players fighting one another directly.
The game would consist missions that players can undertake to combat other player factions or NPC factions. Missions could be initiated by players who run factions or NPCs. Each mission would involve a scenario or a set of scenarios where a player (and perhaps a few NPCs under his control to some extent) or group of players fights a group of NPCs of the opposing faction while trying to accomplish various objectives. There would be multiple scenario types including “deathmatch”, escort, protect the item, obtain the item, etc. Certain numbers of each type of scenario would need to be completed within a certain time-frame to complete a faction-wide mission—for example, to take a city/town/hamlet/farm. As the sides complete scenarios, they are awarded points based on their performance in the scenarios. The side that obtains the highest score accomplishes their goal, be it defending or attacking.
Nowhere in this system are players required to lose a battle they participate in. The system actually works perfectly fine if both sides win every single encounter in which players take part. As long as the NPC AIs are good—and they might not have to be much better than Darkfall NPC AI with some added behaviorlets—players can enjoy playing through challenging content and succeeding without being teabagged by 12-year-olds while accomplishing broader, world-changing objectives.
Can a system like this allow people to have their dynamic world cake and eat it too without it being a newb-repelling niche experience? Could such a system bring dynamic world, sandbox PvP to the masses?